The adolescent years can be tough, and it may be difficult to keep teens away from the various temptations of the adult world. Vaping products are an alternative for adults who want to move away from traditional tobacco products. Yet, it has become general news that vaping and e -cigarettes have reached the into hands of those who are underage.
The Tobacco Control Act puts specific restrictions in place when it comes to marketing tobacco products to children. As well as banning vending machines selling tobacco products.
In this blog post, we will go over various ways to say #NO2MINORS.
A 2016 report on tobacco from the Center for Disease Control asserts that exposure to nicotine can have adverse effects on an adolescent brain. These types of reports are useful as we aim to move people away from traditional tobacco products, and keep them all away from minors.
Vaping has become popular recently, growing to its current status over the past ten years. Because of this, there is still a lot to learn about the industry. In the meantime, there is still plenty of information out there to enforce #NO2MINORS.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS.
The FDA defines ENDS as non combustible tobacco products. Some examples of ENDS include e-cigarettes, e-pipes, hookah pens, vape pens and vaporizers. There are resources available to keep minors from using ENDS, ranging from the federal law, business and retailer proactivity, and parental control.
Let’s dive into how the Food and Drug Administration is intervening.
First and foremost, federal law prohibits selling e-cigarettes to anyone under 18. This age varies state to state, as each state or region may have stricter age limits. In September 2018, the FDA warned 1100 retailers and issued another 131 fines, ranging from $279 to $11,182, for selling e-cigarettes to minors.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a November 2018 interview with the Washington Post said, “Our aim is to make sure no kid can access a fruity flavor product in a convenience store.” It is understood that vape and tobacco shops will not have any issues in complying to these regulations. There are no restrictions on mint and menthol flavors, as they are less of an issue when it comes to attracting minors.
Commissioner Gottlieb stands by the idea that e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems can be useful. In the same November 2018 statement he says that they “may be effective as an alternative to cigarettes for adults who still seek access to satisfying levels of nicotine, without all the deadly effects of combustion.”
The problem is, teenage vaping has become so concerning that new laws may have to become even more stringent to keep these products away from minors. The goal is to allow adults to stop smoking, while simultaneously keeping teens away from nicotine. This is where retailers and parents can have a tremendous impact.
How Retailers Can Help
Retailers and businesses can help curb underage vaping through strict adherence to state and federal regulations regarding sales and by tailoring their marketing solely to adults. Ruthless Vapor has a #NO2MINORS campaign that can be viewed here: #NO2MINORS.
As of 2016, the FDA began enforcing the regulation which bans vape shops from giving free samples to customers. All retailers are being held to a high standard by not selling to anyone without first checking a valid form of identification.
One company that has been under a microscope is Juul Labs. In an effort to support the anti-minor movement, Juul Labs has pulled Mango, Fruit, Cucumber, and Creme flavors from traditional retail stores. Their website also features a two-factor authentication process to verify that anyone buying online is the proper age. Reducing minors access to the fruit flavors is a huge focus for retailers in the vape industry.
As companies and retailers play their part, it is just as important that parents know what is happening inside their own homes.
Keeping a close eye on your teenage can be hard work. It is a constant balancing act, allowing them to assert independence yet requiring certain levels of obedience.
But the truth is...vaping has found its way into the middle schools and high schools. So it is important for parents to remain informed and familiar with the different types of e-cigarettes that exist. What they look like, and how they work.
Rather than becoming a detective in your own home, create an open and honest conversation with your kids about electronic cigarettes and related products. Sharing information about the potential dangers, as well as listening to their experiences.
Above all, hear them out on what they have seen or tried, without judgement.
Here are a few signs that can be related to teen vaping:
For more information visit Vaping and Parenting.
Ultimately, it takes a village to raise a child, and if everyone does their part, we can be successful in saying #NO2MINORS. What are your thoughts or tips on saying #NO2MINORS?
3. Washington Post - FDA Unveils sweeping anti-tobacco effort to reduce underage vaping and smoking
5. JUUL - Youth Prevention