CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Centers for Disease Control says America's teens are being lured by advertising to use e-cigarettes.
"The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D.
While he said kids should not use e-cigarettes, a new CDC report shows more and more kids are.
Between 2011 and 2014, e-cigarette use among high school students increased from just over one percent, to more than 13 percent. And the .6 percent of middle school students smoking e-cigarettes increased to just under four percent.
The CDC report blames unrestricted marketing on the "dramatic increase." According to the study, seven in 10 middle and high school students – more than 18 million young people – see e-cigarette advertising. Many of the ads use themes that appeal to young people.
According to the CDC, e-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which can lead to addiction and possibly harm brain development. The CDC is urging communities to fund programs to keep kids from using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and create laws that would make it difficult for kids to buy e-cigarettes. The CDC recommendations include:
- Limiting tobacco product sales to facilities that never admit youth,
- Restricting the number of stores that sell tobacco and how close they can be to schools,·
- Requiring that e-cigarettes be sold only through face-to-face transactions, not on the Internet, and
- Requiring age verification to enter e-cigarette vendor’s websites, make purchases, and accept deliveries of e-cigarettes.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has the authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and sale of certain tobacco products. The FDA has announced plans to regulate e-cigarettes and other currently unregulated tobacco products.