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Vaping among teens on the rise

08 November 2019

Juul removed its popular sweet flavors such as mango and creme from stores previous year to help curb underaged use, restricting those sales to its age-verified web site.

"The findings that mint really was the most popular flavor among almost all kids is a really important finding particularly when considering different policies that are on the table right now", says Dr. Jessica Barrington-Trimis, an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at USC. The studies include a US government report based on a survey indicating that the U.S.

The government report, surveying nearly 20,000 young people, also found that Juul is the preferred brand for 60% of high school e-cigarette users. Data on flavor preference were available for 1,739 users of JUUL in the past 30 days.

A study by Leventhal published October 28 in Pediatrics found that teens who use flavored e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular users and vape more heavily.

The other found mint is the favorite flavor of vaping products of most 10th and 12th graders. In contrast, less than 6% of teenagers across all grades preferred menthol.

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"We have a whole generation of young people who are addicted to these products", said Ylioja, who was not involved in the studies.

"Our study calls into question whether regulations or sales suspensions of flavored e-cigarettes that exclude mint flavors would meaningfully reduce youth vaping", said Adam Leventhal, director of the USC Institute for Addiction Science and professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"The March 2019 policy to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigs in convenience stores, but allow them in adult only vape shops, was aimed at preserving the adult segment for adult smokers seeking to quit, while taking products most widely used by kids out of the leakiest channel", Gottlieb wrote.

Both studies were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While critics of the sale of e-cigarettes in U.S. have cited vape lung as a pressing issue, Chinese authorities are concerned that minors are increasingly using sites like Taobao, and others to buy the devices and are not required to show any identification to verify their age when buying e-cigarettes online.

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Health advocates who've long fought for declines in smoking among the young said the rise in vaping is troubling. Last month, Juul suspended sales of all of its flavors, except mint, menthol and tobacco.

The studies come amid a spike in teen use of e-cigarettes that's prompted the Trump administration to draft new rules temporarily removing all flavored e-cigarettes from the market until the Food and Drug Administration, which helped fund the studies, can review their safety.

The San Francisco-based Juul, the best-selling vaping brand in the country, stopped selling some flavors past year in stores and only sold them online.

Facing multiple state and federal investigations, Juul has pledged to not lobby against the federal flavor ban. Juul didn't immediately have a comment on the studies.

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Vaping among teens on the rise