by Fathima Shaikh
Every year, the number of teens using e-cigarette products skyrockets. If middle and high schoolers quit their use of e-cigarette's, they'd not only be fighting against sly marketing techniques from electronic cigarette companies but they'd also be saving thousands of dollars as well as their health.
Matt Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that he's prepared to support a product like Juul if it is responsibly marketed and shown to help adults quit cigarette use. However, largely due to e-cigarette corporations' advertisements, millions of high schoolers and middle schoolers become exposed and addicted to nicotine annually. E-cigarettes are a $2.5 billion business in the United States that spends over $120 million a year on advertisements (s). Their marketing techniques of using young "cool looking" models with a vape or Juul are proven to attract youth to using the product, as well as the use of naming their items with candy-flavored names (surgeongeneral.gov). Vox says that the number of American teenagers using tobacco products increased by 40% from 2017-2018.
The use of e-cigarettes also has detrimental health effects. Pediatrician Dr. Heather Haukness says that "nicotine can have lasting damaging effects on adolescent brain development. Their brains cannot produce dopamine without the assistance of more nicotine which starts a spiraling addiction." However, those are not the only negative impacts being a nicotine user has. It is also expensive. Teens can save up to thousands of dollars annually if they quit or avoid the use of e-cigarettes. Marketwatch states that an average vape user spends $1500 per year. Additionally, an article by Pubmed.gov, states about 15% of the aggregate health care expenditure in high-income countries can be attributed to the use of nicotine. Vape users are most likely to use cigarettes, and once a teen begins smoking cigarettes, they can be spending tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Rebecca Annunzio, a health teacher for Walter Payton College Prep says that the most logical thing for the youth to do is to resist the deceiving e-cigarette marketing efforts and refrain from the use of e-cig. "It's expensive, it's dangerous and in the long run, it will be a terrible decision. Ask any e-cig user and 99% will say they wish they never started!"