Health advocates in Kentucky are praising the Food and Drug Administration’s tough stance on vaping among youth. The FDA this week called electronic cigarettes an epidemic among teens and threatened to pull the products from the market.
In 2017, 44 percent of Kentucky high school students reported they had at least tried vaping while 14 percent admitted using e-cigarettes on a regular basis. Bonnie Hackbarth with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky says vaping is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
"Our biggest concern is that these new products, which as so attractive to youth because of their shape and flavors, are going to reverse the trend that we've seen the past two decades in reducing teen use," she said.
While e-cigarettes were initially touted as a way to wean adult smokers off traditional cigarettes, that hasn’t been proven. And the FDA failed to predict the current the addiction among youth, mainly driven by flavored products. Health officials have warned that nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful especially in youth because their brains are still developing.