E-cigarettes deliver nicotine by heating a flavored liquid that is inhaled by the user. Almost seven in 10 US school kids are exposed to e-cigarette ads which promote the battery-powered vaping devices using themes of rebellion, sex and independence, revealed US health authorities.
Unrestricted marketing of e-cigarettes has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the number of vaping youths, raising concerns about health dangers and a new generation of people addicted to nicotine, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
‘Unrestricted marketing of e-cigarettes has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the number of vaping youths, raising concerns about health dangers and a new generation of people addicted to nicotine.’
AdvertisementFrom 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use among high school students went from 1.5% to 13.4%, the CDC said.
Among middle school students, users went from 0.6% to 3.9% in the same time span.
In 2014, e-cigarettes became more commonly used among youth than any other tobacco product, including cigarettes.
"The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes. I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes," said CDC director Tom Frieden.
More than 18 million middle and high school students see e-cigarette ads, according to the CDC Vital Signs report.
The data came from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which showed that 68.9% of middle and high school students see e-cigarettes ads from one or more media sources.
More than half (55%) saw ads in retail stores, while 40% saw them online and 37% saw them on TV or in movies.
30% of youths said they saw the ads in newspapers and magazines.
"Research has shown that nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use," the CDC said.
The report also said that spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to about $115 million in 2014.