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Advocates Push for Restrictions Against E-Cigarettes

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NPR.org
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With smoking cessation on the minds of many this week, advocates of ending e-cigarette use among teens are pushing action by federal government to help reduce those numbers.

Gustavo Torrez is Director of Youth Advocacy with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He says the statistics are surprising.

“We’re facing a serious epidemic of the use of youth e-cigarette use in the United States,” Torrez said. “Last year, youth e-cigarette use increased by 78% and over 3.6 million middle and high school kids actually used e-cigarettes.”

He says there’s reason to worry.

“This is very concerning for us. One Juul pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.  And there’s actually been some research and studies that show youth who actually use e-cigarettes are more likely to use traditional cigarettes.”

Sachit Gali is an anti-tobacco youth advocate/who would like to see those numbers change among his peers. Specifically, he’s like to see an end of the flavored products which opponents say are aimed at teens

“I see in my high school, I see in high schools across the country, that students are being attracted to e-cigarettes because of these flavors like mint and menthol.”

Gali believes manufactures are directing the product at young people through the variety of flavors offered.

“In fact, for e-cigarettes alone there are over 15,000 flavors and some of these flavors are created just to target kids like cotton candy and peanut butter cup,” according to Gali.

In addition to having the Food and Drug Administration ban the flavored products, both believe states and cities should raise the sale age for tobacco products to 21.