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Federal Drug Administration Combats Vape and E-Cigarette Usage Among Teens

The+number+of+vapers+has+been+increasing+rapidly+-+from+about+seven+million+in+2011+to+35+million+in+2016.
The number of vapers has been increasing rapidly - from about seven million in 2011 to 35 million in 2016.

The number of vapers has been increasing rapidly - from about seven million in 2011 to 35 million in 2016.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The number of vapers has been increasing rapidly - from about seven million in 2011 to 35 million in 2016.

Katie Brubaker, Managing Editor

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In 2017, the National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 11.7 percent of high school students reported usage of e-cigarettes in the thirty days before the poll — this is over a 10 percent increase from the 1.5 percent in 2011.

There were 4 incidents where students were reprimanded for vaping on campus at SJHHS in the 2016-2017 school year. This number increased dramatically with a total of 81 incidents last school year.

To combat these increasing numbers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued informational commercials targeting the consequences of vape devices and e-cigarettes. In addition, the FDA recently placed new regulations on the advertisements for such products in order to protect younger audiences.

On August 8, the FDA expanded their commercial guidelines for newer products that contain nicotine, such as vapes and e-cigarettes. These changes include that product packaging and advertising related to end products must contain a disclaimer that reads “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”

Many believe that vapes and e-cigarettes are a much healthier alternative to traditional smoking. However, these products still contain nicotine, a chemical that is extremely addictive. There is also fear regarding these new devices because the long-term effects they have on the body are still unclear.

The FDA also asks that companies producing such products ensure that if an advertisement is sent out, it is sent to customers who are legally old enough and able to purchase the products being advertised.

According to District Policy, State Law, and Ed. Code, no student may possess or use tobacco or nicotine on school grounds at any time. This also includes any nicotine delivery devices, and electronic vaporizing devices.”

— SJHHS Disciplinary Policies and Procedures

Many companies, especially those that produce and sell vapes, market their products towards younger audiences with a variety of enticing vape juice flavors. These include Cowboy Cooler (Menthol and Berry Flavor), Circus Bear (Strawberry Banana Custard), Wrecking Ball (Banana Pudding), and Blue Harvest (Blueberry Watermelon Lemonade). These flavors and their names have been accused by many anti-vape campaigns of directly targeting children in order to hook them on the product when they are young.

Originally, a campaign to combat only cigarette smoking, the FDA expanded the “The Real Cost” campaign to include e-cigarettes in 2018. These commercials depict the negative and very graphic effects of e-cigarette usage, and are hoped to curb the rising numbers of teens using e-cigarettes.

Like the FDA, San Juan Hills High School aims to decrease the number of teens using vapes and or e-cigarettes. In SJHHS’s Disciplinary Policies and Procedures, it is stated that “according to District Policy, State Law, and Ed. Code, no student may possess or use tobacco or nicotine on school grounds at any time. This also includes any nicotine delivery devices, and electronic vaporizing devices.”

For the first offense of vaping on campus, a student will be assigned Saturday school, a behavior contract will be established, and the student must attend a three series class on vape education that is held once a week on Wednesdays during lunch.

In spite of both the FDA’s and SJHHS administration’s efforts to present the possible harm of products such as vapes and e-cigarettes, there are still students that continue to use them. As the years go by, the number of those in high school using e-cigarettes and vapes continue to rise.

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About the Writer
Katie Brubaker, Managing Editor

Katie Brubaker is a senior at SJHHS and this is her third year on The Express newspaper staff. In the previous years, Katie held the positions of Arts...

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