Are Vaping and E- Cigarettes Targeting Teens


Graph courtesy of Tobacco Control and Prevention Branch, NC DHHS

Brianna Allen, Senior Research Paper Contributor

Vaping and electronic cigarettes have become the latest bad habit trend among teens and young adults. Yet they were originally marketed as a product to help older smokers quit smoking.

Smoking tobacco is probably one of the oldest habits humankind has developed. Smoking has gradually become a mass addiction due to the efforts of tobacco companies seeking to increase their sales (Robert, 2019).

Nowadays there are alternatives to tobacco smoking, such as the widely popular known product of e-cigarettes and vaping. But it is highly debated whether e cigarettes are harmful to smokers. Although tobacco does harm one’s health, mostly affecting the cardiovascular system, it is mainly the other chemicals in the e- cigarettes that are doing the most damage. Such as tar, carbon monoxide, and hard particles contained in cigarette smoke. Nicotine causes addiction but the smoke does the damage to our health (Robert, 2019).

The real question is, is the new e cigarette invention to help people quit their bad habit of smoking or just another way to help tobacco companies get richer? E cigarettes may be invented for the right reasons but are harmfully hurting people and getting them more addicted to nicotine (Robert 2019). Nicotine addiction can cause major withdraw. Vaping has become very popular among teens as they learn how “cool” it is through friends and their social media worlds.

But, as teens and young adults have started smoking the e-cigarette and vaping products more and more often, there’s been a recent increase in concern of deaths and health issues connected to vaping and e cigarettes. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as of February 18,2020 there have been “a total of 2,807 hospitalized EVALI (e cigarettes, vaping associated with lung injury) cases or deaths have been reported to the CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Sixty-eight deaths have been confirmed in 29 states and the District of Columbia”. These recent statistics are alarming and leave people questioning how something that was supposedly marketed to improve an unhealthy habit seem to be causing quite the opposite result.

Many people have many different views and opinions on electronic cigarettes. Students who have chosen to stay anonymous shared, “I don’t think some of the kids would be smoking if it was still just cigarettes. They think it’s cool and try the vapes and e-cigarettes because they have different flavors and then they get addicted. The new e cigs are possibly leading people to smoke that would otherwise not smoke.”

It doesn’t appear there’s a clear approval by the FDA for these products which leaves the question of why are they being sold in stores and sold to minors and young adults if there is no clear understanding of them? Big tobacco companies are targeting kids and are getting them hooked on nicotine and trying to get more people to vape by marketing them as safer than cigarettes.  They even push them towards younger people with have fun flavors and cool looking vapes pens called juuls. But as of January 2 the Trump administration issues a complete ban on flavored e-cigarettes that will forbid the sale of most flavored vape products. According to the Food and Drug Administration, “the change is an attempt to limit the alarming rise in the use of e-cigarettes by teens — who overwhelmingly prefer flavors — while balancing the potential benefits to adults who already smoke.” E-cigarettes were originally designed with the purpose of helping existing smokers break their habit with combustible cigarettes, which are regarded as more harmful than the e- cigarettes. But rather than helping adult smokers quit “smoking” vaping has encouraged millions of American teens into nicotine addiction and to start smoking! (McDonald, 2020).

Though e-cigarettes may have been considered an effective alternative to conventional cigarettes, they still contain nicotine and other harmful products that are putting people’s life and health in danger. Don’t mistake e-cigarettes and vaping as a “healthy” way to have a bad habit; just break the habit overall.



McDonald, Jessica. “Q&A on the FDA’s Flavored E-Cig Policy.” Fact Check. A Project of The

Annenberg Public Policy Center. 16 January 2020. Web. Accessed 9 March 2020.

Robert, Dan. “The Real Cost.” Tobacco Free Gov.8 June 2019. Web. Accessed 12 Feb. 2020.

“Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarettes, or Vaping Products.”  Center for 

                Disease Control and Prevention. US Department of Health and Human Services. 25 February

2020. Web. Accessed 9 March 2020.