E-cigarette sales sky-rocketed in 2007; the first year they became available in the United States. Unregulated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), the devices quickly gained status as a modern and potentially less dangerous alternative to smoking tobacco. And for young people looking for an affordable option to experiment with the long-romanticized culture of smoking, $20 starter kits that include an atomizer, battery, charger, and small bottle of juice are easily available.
And teens are attracted to e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that, when filled with a liquid that may or may not contain nicotine, basically serve as a cigarette. An April 2015 CDC and CTP study found that e-cigarette use among young people has nearly tripled between 2013 and 2014. According to the CDC, “current e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 4.5 to 13.4 percent, rising from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students.” Similarly, e-cigarette use among middle school students also has increased from 1.1 to 3.9 percent, approximately 120,000 to 450,000 students.
In New Mexico, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 18 under a new law signed by Gov. Susana Martinez. But even those old enough to legally use them don’t always want their parents to know that they are. James, an 18-year-old Santa Fean who wishes to stay anonymous, started using e-cigarettes in his sophomore year because his peers were doing it. “I guess you could say that everyone was doing it, so it just kind of seemed like a normal thing to do,” he said. “People would get together and just see how many smoke tricks they could do. It just seemed cool and fun.” Read full article
Eliza Harrison (11 June 2015) Though unregulated, e-cigarette culture grows [online newspaper]. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/o249rp3