LOS ANGELES, California. The New York Times reports that teens are smoking e-cigarettes at “epidemic” levels, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA reports that as many as 2 million middle and high school students may be using e-cigarettes. The FDA is turning to e-cigarette manufacturers, asking them to prove that they can keep their products out of the hands of minors. Part of the action the FDA has taken is to warn sellers of e-cigarettes that it will enforce penalties for stores that sell e-cigarettes to minors. According to the Times, 131 fines have already been issued.
There has been concern that the e-cigarette companies may have looked the other way when minors might have been purchasing the devices. While the devices are seen as safer than traditional cigarettes because they contain fewer toxins, it has been noted that c-cigarette products contain more nicotine and are therefore more addictive than cigarettes.
Vox reports that e-cigarettes may be far more dangerous than previously thought. The high levels of nicotine in e-cigarettes is particularly troubling to regulators who believe that the teen brain may be more susceptible to developing an addiction, especially when teens begin using these products at a young age.
Advocacy groups sued the FDA because it failed to take early action. Now, it appears that the FDA might take action by trying to sue e-cigarette companies that fail to keep these products out of teens’ hands.
Yet, what can parents do about teens’ e-cigarette use. According to the Surgeon General, the best way to start is to have a talk with teens about e-cigarette use. A great way to have the discussion is to start it naturally, perhaps after passing an e-cigarette store or after seeing another person smoking. Talking to your teen about the risks, the challenges of quitting, and leaving the dialogue open are also important. Teens might shut down if they think they are going to get a lecture but they may be more likely to talk if you keep the channels of communication open.
What can parents do if their teens admit to smoking? Rather than moving to punish your teen, thank them for being honest and express your concerns. Ask that they avoid e-cigarettes in the future. You can also ask your teen if they think they might need help quitting. Sometimes teens get started smoking and become addicted. If they feel that they don’t have support, quitting can be all the more difficult.
E-cigarette companies have also been criticized for attempting to promote prevention efforts in high schools. However, school officials found the programs offensive and believed that they were covert marketing.
Could e-cigarettes go the way of traditional cigarettes? Could parents and teens who later became addicted someday sue these companies? Some claim that the company markets the product as safer than cigarettes or as an alternative to cigarettes, while others claim that the product appears to have been directly marketed to teens.
The epidemic is being closely watched by experts, advocates, and personal injury lawyers alike. The Ledger Law Firm are personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles, California who work with clients who have been hurt due to the negligence or neglect of another person or party. The outcome of these lawsuits can have major implications for teen tobacco use and for the e-cigarette industry as a whole. If you or a loved one has been hurt due to the actions of another person or party or due to a defective product, reach out to the Ledger Law Firm today.
 
 

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