Preventing teen e-cigarette use poses challenges

More than 2 million teenagers in the U.S. are now using e-cigarettes, and their growing popularity has health experts worried. In hopes of preventing more teens from following suit, the FDA has created a new education campaign to warn teenagers about the health risks associated with e-cigarette use.

An October 25, 2018 episode of The Lisa Valentine Clark Show on BYU (Brigham Young University) Radio discussed the rise of e-cigarette use among teens and featured Vaughan Rees, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control and a lecturer on social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Rees said that the tobacco industry has historically targeted its marketing efforts at vulnerable populations, and the push by e-cigarette companies to appeal to teens is no different.

Rees noted that it can be difficult to prevent teens from experimenting with tobacco products because they are “inherent risk takers” and they’re especially susceptible to peer influence. He added that the FDA is working to craft evidence-based strategies to better regulate these products.

Listen to the Vaughan Rees interview on The Lisa Valentine Clark Show (at 51:07)