Vaping's popularity with teens surpasses old fashioned smokes

It’s official: Vaping is now more popular than smoking traditional cigarettes. At least when it comes to teens. About 13 percent of American high schoolers now use electronic cigarettes. Compare that with just 9 percent of high school kids who smoke traditional cigarettes.

“Whatever LOLJKWTF,” replied one local teen, probably.

Advertisement

Cool Teens Prefer "Unicorn Puke" Flavored E-Cigs

With the e-cigarettes industry’s recent boom, it’s no surprise that vaping is also exploding in popularity among teens. Newly released CDC data show that teen use of e-cigarettes tripled to 13.4 percent from 2013 to 2014, overtaking traditional cigarettes. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Let us DISCUSS.

The CDC report shows that as e-cigs have grown in popularity, cigarettes use has in fact fallen—from 16 percent to 9 percent from 2011 to 2014. Therein lies the challenge in interpreting the data.

Advertisement

Research on e-cigs is scant, but its dangers probably lie somewhere in between smoking and a nicotine-free lifestyle. If e-cigarettes are leading to more teens to quit smoking, that is a (comparatively) good thing. But if it’s getting more teens addicted to nicotine, then that’s a bad thing. Unfortunately, it seems like a little bit of both.

What’s less ambiguous, though, is that e-cig manufacturers are packaging their products to appeal to teens, with bright colors and flavors like Unicorn Puke. UNICORN PUKE! (Which one teen described as “every flavor Skittle compressed into one” to the New York Times.) The FDA is now looking to regulate e-cigarettes, but with the dearth of available research, that’ll take years. Who knows that kids will be smoking vaping by then.

[CDC via New York Times]

Top image: Dawn Gilfillan/shutterstock

Advertisement