According to 9News, Colorado teens are vaping at twice the national average, which has lawmakers and health advocates alarmed – and is why the City of Broomfield has developed a new program to encourage vaping teens to trade their vape pens and e-cigarette cartridges for summer recreation passes. The city’s recreation website promises, “no questions asked and no judgment, just drop off your vape and pick up your pass.”
Across the country, lawmakers, and public health organizations are searching for (stick to carrot) solutions on how to solve the dramatic spike in vaping teens over the last several years, from raising taxes on vaping to price teens out of the market, to stronger penalties for teens caught vaping to bribing teens to give up the habit with summer recreation center passes.
The Surgeon General Jerone Adams’ teen vaping warning has attributed the rise in teen vaping to “new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market” stating, “we must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.”
The Surgeon General blamed JUUL as well as other easily concealable flash drive-shaped e-cigarettes favored by teens specifically, citing a whopping 900% increase in teen vaping overall between 2011 – 2015, and a 600% uptick in sales of JUUL between 2016 – 2017.
“All JUUL e-cigarettes have a high level of nicotine,” Adams stated. 63% of youth JUUL users (15-24) were not aware that JUUL pods always contain nicotine, according to a study published in Tobacco Control. And a 2017 study by the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences found that young adults who vape are four times more likely to begin smoking traditional cigarettes within 18 months than youth who do not use e-cigarettes.
No word yet on whether Broomfield’s plan to curb vaping teens with the lure of swimming and sunshine will be successful, but when it comes to stopping teen vaping, every effort is an important one.
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