Ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products – including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and flavored cigars – is critical to stopping the youth e-cigarette epidemic and creating the first tobacco-free generation. There is a growing movement by policymakers at all levels to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products.
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The tobacco industry has a long history of targeting kids with flavored products, and the evidence is clear that flavors play a key role in youth initiation and continued use of tobacco products. Flavors improve the taste and mask the harshness of tobacco products, making it easier for kids to try these products and ultimately become addicted.
THE YOUTH E-CIGARETTE EPIDEMIC
Flavored products, especially Juul, have fueled the youth e-cigarette epidemic, which is addicting a generation of kids and threatens to reverse the decades-long progress our nation has made in reducing youth tobacco use.
According to the latest data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 11.3% of high school students and 2.8% of middle school students – over 2 million kids altogether – were current e-cigarette users.
The latest data also shows the following:
- Kids aren’t just experimenting with e-cigarettes. Many are using these products most days or every day, a sure sign they’re becoming addicted. Over 40% of high school e-cigarette users are vaping at least 20 days a month and over a quarter are daily users. In total, 500,000 middle and high school students are vaping every single day.
- Flavored products are driving this epidemic. In fact, 85% of youth e-cigarette users use flavored products.
- In the past two years, kids have shifted dramatically to disposable and menthol e-cigarettes, two categories of products that were left on the market under current federal restrictions. These shifts show that the only way to end this crisis is to eliminate all flavored e-cigarettes.