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Flavored e-cigarette sales, usage up among youths

A pile of used or discarded vape pens discovered littering the streets in New York Metropolis.

Lindsey Nicholson | Common Photographs Group | Getty Photographs

Efforts to limit e-cigarette flavors favored by teenagers might have fallen flat as new manufacturers hit the market, in keeping with a brand new report.

Fruit, sweet, spice and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes which have lengthy been well-liked amongst underage people who smoke have proliferated lately, in keeping with knowledge analyzed by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, the CDC Basis and the Fact Initiative.

Flavored e-cigarettes represented 41.3% of U.S. retail-store e-cigarette unit gross sales in December 2022, up from 29.2% in January 2020, the organizations discovered. Total e-cigarette gross sales within the U.S. rose about 47% within the interval. 

The spike in gross sales comes regardless of a federal crackdown that positioned extra restrictions on the flavors and advertising for tobacco merchandise.

“The dramatic spikes in youth e-cigarette use again in 2017 and 2018, primarily pushed by JUUL, confirmed us how shortly e-cigarette gross sales and use patterns can change,” mentioned Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, director of the CDC’s Workplace on Smoking and Well being. “Retail gross sales knowledge are key to offering real-time data on the quickly altering e-cigarette panorama, which is crucial to decreasing youth tobacco use.”

Citing the enchantment of flavored e-cigarettes to youngsters, the FDA introduced in January 2020 that it will prohibit gross sales of candy and fruit-flavored e-cigarette prefilled pods, which led to the demise of huge manufacturers like Juul and Vuse.

Throughout January 2020 to December 2022, unit shares of prefilled cartridges decreased from 75.2% to 48.0%.

Nevertheless, the flavour limitations did not have an effect on disposable cigarettes, which on the finish of 2019 solely represented 15% of e-cigarette unit gross sales in U.S. retail shops, in keeping with the info. From January 2022 to December 2022, disposable e-cigarette unit share elevated from 24.7% to 51.8% of complete unit gross sales.

They now signify greater than half the U.S. e-cigarette market.

Nicotine is very addictive and might hurt the adolescent mind, which continues to develop via roughly age 25, in keeping with the CDC. Furthermore, the company discovered that hottest manufacturers of disposable e-cigarettes in the marketplace — Puff Bar, Elf Bar, and Breeze Smoke — aren’t FDA-approved and are unlawful. The FDA has solely approved disposable e-cigarette model NJOY Every day, which is available in two tobacco flavors.

Final yr, the FDA ordered Elf Bar and Breeze Smoke off the U.S. market, in keeping with the CDC report.

“The tobacco business is properly conscious that flavors enchantment to and appeal to youngsters, and that younger persons are uniquely weak to nicotine habit,” mentioned Robin Koval, CEO and president of the Fact Initiative. “Whereas we’re inspired by FDA’s current actions to curb illegal advertising of flavored e-cigarettes, all of us should work with even better urgency to guard our nation’s youth from all flavored e-cigarettes, together with disposables.”