Purpose of review
The development and uptake of E cigarettes are a relatively recent phenomenon. Because of aggressive marketing, attractive designs, enticing flavors and primarily reactionary legislation, we are now seeing soaring rates of adolescent vaping with associated consequences. This review explores how E cigarettes work, their health implications, epidemiology among youth and current regulatory strategies.
Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 27% of high school students had used a tobacco product within the last month, the majority being E-cigarettes in 20.8% of high school students. Vaping has managed to reverse a decades long trend of declining nicotine use among youth. Long-term addiction is not the only concern related to youth vaping; there are also increasing reports of short-term health consequences, such as seizures, acute nicotine toxicity, burns and lung injury.
Industry has created and aggressively marketed a product that is enticing to adolescents. E cigarettes have sleek designs, desirable flavors and social acceptability with perceived safety among youth. This has resulted in epidemic E cigarette use in youth with resultant significant short-term and long-term health concerns. Legislation must include regulations that strictly avoid marketing and sales to youth, as well as reducing access to these products.