Skip to Content

How states are fighting the sale of e-cigs to minors

Has vaping culture gets hot, some drop cigarettes, but risk continuesHas vaping culture gets hot, some drop cigarettes, but risk continues
Teen vaping rates have gone down. But it's still a problem. Photograph by Kansas City Star TNS via Getty Images

Following a record low of teen cigarette smokers, a new problem is advancing: e-cigarettes. The combination of it being ostensibly healthier and boasting a tech-upgrade from conventional cigarettes, the e-cig immediately appeals to a younger audience.

The e-cig, a “cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled,” is still a point of debate regarding long-term health effects. Its nicotine content is still addictive and can cause harm.

According to the CDC, “More than a quarter-million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used e-cigarettes in 2013.” And that number continues to climb. As Reuters reports, “government data released in April, showed that teen use of e-cigarettes tripled in 2014 alone.”

With the slow response of the federal government to take action, state attorneys general have been using established law to pressure e-cig manufactures to reduce teen advertising.

One group of Attorneys Generals, says Reuters, “is pressuring certain e-cigarette manufacturers and vendors to limit ads that appeal to teens, especially on company websites and places like YouTube.”

More than 10 e-cig companies who spoke with Reuters “acknowledged they have been contacted by state law enforcers or by the National Associations of Attorneys General.”

The sale of e-cigs to minors is banned across 46 states. But with manufacturer advertising present and in reach for teens, these devices are highly accessible and teens are buying.