One of the areas that concerns legislators and lawmakers most, on the subject of electronic cigarette products is that which regards usage by those who are underage, most often teens. The FDA recently ruled in favor of laws that prohibit minors from purchasing the alternative products, among the first e-cigarette regulations to come into effect nationally.
So what is the deal with e-cigarettes in the mainstream? Are teenagers even interested in them? Are they using them more voraciously than cigarettes? Do e-cigs really pose a problem that causes concern about teens becoming hooked on nicotine?
Teenagers have long been drawn to experimentation, and the majority of adult smokers picked up the habit during their teen years. Whether a result of rebellion or pleasurable escape, teens always have and always will be looking to test limits – be it their parents’, schoolteachers’, or those in place by society; cigarette usage among youth has always been a hot button topic. Even though tobacco companies marketed their products to impressionable young people in decades past, this practice has long been halted. Over the past 20 years, cigarette usage among minors has been on dramatic decline, especially when it is considered how unfashionable smoking has become. Less teens are looking at smoking as a cool way to rebel and create an image.
As recently reported by Forbes, the most recent statistics on high school students smoking, shows numbers that have fallen from 15.8% to 12.7%, which are the lowest numbers ever. While the usage of e-cigarette use by high schoolers has rose, from 1.5% to 4.5%, which includes those teens who have used a vapor cigarette at least once within a 30-day period, it is being looked at as less negative and rather encouraging. It is a suggestion that high school smokers are interested in alternatives, and are using electronic cigarettes instead of traditional cigarettes as a means to stop using tobacco.
If teen tobacco smoking is declining at great numbers, and teens in general are not interested in smoking, yet are turning to electronic cigarettes as alternatives, it is clear that vapor smoking is not serving as a gateway to traditional smoking for impressionable youth as anti-smoking groups claim.
To put it bluntly, the electronic cigarette industry aims to market and sell their products exclusively to adults over the age limit, and as teens will inevitably get their hands on things they have no business with (traditional and electronic cigarettes alike), vapor cigs are not luring teens into lifelong smoking habits.