Teens turn to using E-Cigarettes


Illustration by Svannah Nguyen

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention reports concern about the use of E-Cigarettes leading into conventional cigarettes.

Originally developed by a pharmacist in China, E-cigarettes have become a worldwide phenomenon.

E-cigarettes introduce the body to many toxins that negatively affect health in a number of ways. According to Medical News Today, a report from Greek researchers found that using E-cigarettes increased breathing difficulty in both smokers and non-smokers. A 2009 FDA analysis of E-cigarettes discovered that the liquid inside contained poisonous chemicals, including diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze and is a cancer-causing agent.

“We have had to confiscate E-cigarettes from students,” Associate Principal Sue Bates said. “Kids think they won’t get in trouble for those because they think they are not real, but they do get in trouble. I believe they can be harmful.”

The Legacy Press contacted four local E-cigarette retailers to observe policies on purchases by teens. While one retailer stated that they will not sell to anyone under the age of 18, two of the retailers said they will not sell to teens inside of the store but purchases can be made online and the final store confirmed that they will not sell to teens but that there are many places in the area that will.

Some of these companies even attempt to appeal to children. The common flavors are some that children enjoy, such as milkshake, bubblegum or cheesecake.

“It’s scary to think about how teens can buy them, because they could serve as a major gateway device and cause kids to become addicted to nicotine,” junior Evan Venell said.

TV commercials for cigarettes have been banned since the mid 1960s, but ones for E-cigarettes are still on the air. The New York Times says money spent for purchasing advertisements increased from $2.7 million to $20.8 million in the past three years. In September, USA Today stated that the nation’s top three tobacco companies joined E-cigarette retail in the last 16 months.

“I see advertisements for them on television or the Internet nearly every day,” sophomore Christian Scott-Myers said.

According to a recently conducted study by USA Today, over half of young adults say they would try E-cigarettes if a friend offered them one.

For more information about E-cigarettes and their negative health effects, visit http://www.howstuffworks.com/nicotine3.htm.