Vape pens and e-cigarettes have become an accepted alternative to traditional tobacco products in the past few years. Many people have even claimed that these products can help people stop smoking. However, there is also a growing body of evidence that suggests vape pens and e-cigarettes might not be as beneficial as originally believed, and they may also increase a person’s risk of developing chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This evidence has caused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recommend several changes to current vaping laws nationwide.
There has been a growing trend of e-cigarette use in high schoolers, and there are even indications that middle schoolers are using these tobacco alternatives more often. To help slow the growing use by these age groups, the FDA is recommending additional restrictions on the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which is the FDA category for vapes and e-cigarettes. The proposed restrictions would focus on taking ENDS out of gas stations, convenience stores and any other retail store that doesn’t have a separate area open only to those people over 18.
While the new in-store restrictions may help reduce ENDS use in young people, the FDA acknowledges that new practices are also needed for online ENDS retailers. After all, there is no face-to-face interaction online, and this can make it easier for people under the legal age to purchase ENDS. In fact, the FDA reports that 1 survey of adolescents ages 15 to 17 found that more than 32% of those who purchased ENDS did so online. The goal of tightening purchasing practices for online retailers is to make it more difficult for underage people to get ENDS online, and the hope is that these restrictions can help reduce the number of underage ENDS users overall.
In many cases, the FDA has found that ENDS companies are deliberately targeting young people and using specific marketing tools to convince them to use their products. Some companies use cartoon characters in their marketing to appeal to younger members of the population. There have also been companies who have used images of lollipops, juice boxes and other foods favored by kids to market ENDS. Due to these disturbing trends, the FDA is stepping up its enforcement activities on companies that deliberately market ENDS products in ways that appeal to minors.
For people who develop chronic lung diseases from smoking or using ENDS, Lung Health Institute offers treatment options that can help you. We offer minimally invasive cellular therapy, and we also offer our Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™.
Take the next step to Breathe Easier™. Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.
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