John-Anthony Coppola: E-cigarettes being marketed to children – Gainesville Sun

I am a pediatrician and have seen the world of tobacco utilization continue to creep into the lives of children and adolescents.

Recently, I was made aware of a device called Juul. This device looks just like a USB drive and has flavored cartridges of nicotine. The flavors hide the taste of the nicotine, which many adolescents may not even realize they are inhaling.

Juul is particularly dangerous because it can be easily concealed. The other concern is that one replaceable Juul packet contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 conventional cigarettes.

The use of e-cigarettes has increased among middle and high school students. The everyday use of e-cigarettes in children grades 6-12 rose from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2015, according to National Youth Tobacco Survey data.

Similarly, according to the survey, the trend in everyday use among high school students rose from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 37.7 percent in 2015. More recently, the survey found the use of e-cigarettes by high school adolescents increased to 20.8 percent in 2018 and in middle school children increased to 4.9 percent.

A report by the U.S. Surgeon General stated that “the most commonly cited reasons for using e-cigarettes among both youth and young adults are curiosity, flavoring/taste, and low perceived harm compared to other tobacco products.”

Advertising and marketing are two tools that are used the most to influence the use of these e-cigarette products. Reportedly, the total expenditure for tracked e-cigarette promotions from 2010 to 2014 went from $3.6 million to $125 million. These numbers are an underestimate as they do not include the retail marketing, social media and sponsored events that are large factors in e-cigarette marketing.

This is appalling. The tobacco companies have intentionally sought out a new generation of consumers by packaging their

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