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Friday, May 8, 2015

Teenagers Use E-Cigarettes to Perform Tricks

Mounting concerns about teenage e-cigarette use has prompted lawmakers and health experts to call for regulation of the popular devices. While research is limited, new findings suggest that the main reasons teenagers use e-cigarettes is for the fruity flavoring and the fact that users can perform tricks with the vapor, Reuters reports.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine asked 5,400 Connecticut teens to explain what they found “cool about e-cigarettes.”

“We expected the flavors were attractive,” said researcher Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin. “But smoke tricks were a surprise to us.”

Just as teenagers are keen on blowing smoke rings with traditional cigarettes, e-cigarette users can do more than create smoke rings, they can create funnels of smoke that look like tornadoes, according to the article. On some e-cigarettes the temperature can be increased which creates more vapor giving users the ability to take part in what are known as “cloud competitions.”

Local e-cigarette supply stores, known as “vape shops,” hold cloud competitions where adults can compete for money. In fact, there are now regional cloud competitions, where participants stand to win thousands of dollars, according to Reuters. While minors are not permitted to take part in the competitions, they are allowed to be members of the audience.

“Even if (teenagers) don’t attend these events they are exposed to a lot of these issues,” Krishnan-Sarin said.

Holding competitions where users can win a significant amount of money for using an addictive substance is clearly unethical. It is highly unlikely that impressionable teenagers are not enticed by such events.

A new report has found that more middle and high school teens are using e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes. Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) showed that e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014.

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