May 31, 2022 - Health

Youth vaping reversed declines in tobacco use

More than a million teens started vaping from 2017 to 2019, throwing decades of declining tobacco use in reverse, according to a new study in Pediatrics.

Why it matters: The popularity of Juul in particular led a new generation of 14- to 17-year-olds to get hooked, although use dropped off after an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths.

What they're saying: "We saw a huge increase in addiction," study co-author John Pierce told Axios.

Background: Fruit and mint-flavored cartridges in small vaping devices proved highly popular among teenagers.

  • The burst in youth vaping led the FDA to ban most flavored cartridges products in a bid to cut off an alternative nicotine source.
  • Some states subsequently sued Juul over its marketing practices for targeting teens.

Threat level: Chronic exposure to e-cigarette smoke in mice can threaten multiple organ systems, but it will take time to determine the effects in people who vape.

The bottom line: "The health consequences are going to be considerable; we just don't know what they're going to be yet," Pierce said.

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