For the first time in three years, youth vaping has dropped significantly. Since the pandemic occurred, vaping flavored nicotine became a trend that affected the health of many. Many high school and middle schoolers were the main target in the rise of flavored nicotine sales, and government officials began to take action by banning all flavored nicotine e-cigarettes in select states.
According to the CDC report, “Past-30 day use (called “current use”) among high school students fell from 27.5 percent to 19.6 percent, and the drop among middle schoolers was even more dramatic, from 10.5 to 4.7 percent.”
Since 2018 the percentage of youth vapers began to rise and reached a max of 5.6 million underage users by 2020. Since 2018, the rise of lung diseases and deaths have been uncountable, and now Americans are starting to take their health more seriously. There are still 3.6 million underage users vaping, but has dropped significantly since the PMTAs were submitted.
Government officials created flavor bans to help protect minors from gaining access to these disposable devices, but not all states passed the bill. Government officials also created a vaping mail ban that would prohibit the sale of nicotine products or would require an adult signature when being delivered. The process of stopping youth vaping has been an ongoing issue but officials and vaping activist groups are finally seeing some progress.
Last year there were over 2,000 lung disease cases and over 60 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that Vitamin E acetate was the culprit for causing these illnesses and deaths.
In 2020, statistics show that one in every five high schoolers and one in every 20 middle schoolers were current vapers of flavored nicotine disposables. Back in 2019, the figures were just slightly over a quarter of high schoolers and one in every ten middle schoolers.
Ever since the flavor ban, the vaping industry had a decrease in sales by losing leading brand companies such as JUUL. Rechargeable vaping devices, menthol flavors, and tobacco products were the only items left on the market for users to have. The goal of the Trump Administration was to leave products that would help adult smokers transition to e-cigarettes, and stop the youth from gaining access to these poison addictive supplements.
The U.S. lawmakers also raised the age requirement to purchase these products from 18 to 21 in December of last year. Since then, a 2020 survey indicated the mint, fruit, and dessert flavors were the youth's first choice. Most adults making the transition from cigarettes to e-cigarettes do not want those candy like flavors which is why those were the first to go. Transitioning adults are more likely to choose plain tobacco or menthol flavors.
According to Khaleej Times, “Eighty-three percent of high school vapers reported using flavors and 74 percent of middle school vapers reported the same. Pre-filled pod or cartridge-based e-cigarettes were the most commonly used device among youth vapers.”
However, disposable nicotine devices increased by 27 percent from 2019 to 2020 among high schoolers making it a 1,000 percent increase and 400 percent increase for middle school users. Although the numbers are currently going down since a recent study was conducted earlier in September, disposable vapes are targeted to the youth to help promote sales.
Moreover, ever since the pandemic health risks and flavor ban less teens and underage users have stopped vaping. Although the vaping industry could be coming to a fall point, there are ways to get them back on top without the use of minors purchasing these products.
McDonald, J. (2020). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from Teen Vaping Declined 29% in 2020, CDC Survey Shows
Afp. (2020, September 10). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from Big drop in vaping among US youth: Data
Retrieved 2020, from E-cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2020