When it comes to keeping up with teen culture, adults are always one step behind. Except for the adults in the tobacco industry. Those guys are in lock step with what kids want: fun flavors like strawberry and horchata that look like tech devices— which is how we now have over 5 million U.S. youths currently using e-cigarettes. And to add to such alarming trends, in California Latino middle school students are more likely to try and use e-cigarettes. But early this year when the FDA announced new regulations regarding vaping products, we had a shot at bringing an end to the youth vaping crisis, which has made e-cigarettes the most commonly used product among middle and high school students. Unfortunately, pressure from the tobacco industry influenced the FDA’s policy. Its flavors restrictions not only missed the mark (thousands of flavors are still available), it also opened the door to a completely new category of flavored vapes: cheap, disposable vapes. They have the same high-content nicotine salts as Juul10. But Puff Bar has even more juvenile flavors like OMG (orange, mango, guava), Blue Razz, and Lush. It’s hard for a kid with a brightly colored Blue Razz Puff Bar to think that it can seed addiction, increase anxiety, worsen learning difficulties, and cause harm that could be permanent.
This is not where we hoped we’d be during a national youth vaping crisis18. With Puff Bar rising in popularity by the day, we can expect a new crop of disposable competitors offering candy-flavored nicotine in cheap, single-use vapes that kids can toss before coming home. Even though we’re more alert to youth vaping than we’ve ever been, our kids are anything but safe from harm.
Learn what you can do to protect your kids at FlavorsHookKids.org