Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Teen Cigarette Use Now Surpassed By E-Cigs

*The following is excerpted from online articles from USA Today.

According to a University of Michigan study, last year, for the first time, more U.S. teens used e-cigarettes than smoked, 17% vs. 14%.

No one says publicly that they want teens to start using e-cigarettes. Nor do most argue about statistics that show that youth have been flocking to this funky alternative to tobacco. The controversy in many state legislatures centers on what to do about it. Given the rise in e-cigarette use by teens, it's clear that state-enforced age limits alone don't work.

Thus far, the Food and Drug Administration has opted not to act. So some states, are trying piecemeal solutions to keep vaping out of young hands, from increasing taxes to closer regulation of the industry.

Vape shop owners argue they are not the problem and that too much regulation would only limit access for former smokers who have replaced their nicotine habit with vaping.

One shop owner told The Star he has no interest in the youth market. At the Indy Vapor Shop on the Westside, the first in Indiana, owner Mike Cline displays a sign announcing no sales to anyone under age 18 and rarely does one cross the threshold. In the five years his shop has been open, he's denied service to fewer than 10 teens because of age.

Someone, however, is selling to minors.

Another new study found that teens can easily buy e-cigarettes online even though sales to minors are banned in 41 states.

Teens in the study were able to buy e-cigarettes online in 94% of attempts, according to a report published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Internet retailers rejected only five out of 98 attempted purchases because of age, according to the study, in which researchers closely supervised 11 teen participants. Five attempts were blocked by parental control settings on the computers.

None of the teens were asked to show proof of age when the packages were delivered. In fact, 95% of orders were left at the doorstep, the study says.

In 2013 more than a quarter-million middle and high school students who had never smoked tried e-cigarettes, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that appeared in August. That number had tripled since 2011.

Source: USA Today

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