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Teens and the Effect of E-cigarette Ads


Did you know that about 7 in 10 high school students are exposed to advertising for e-cigarettes? These ads often portray the product released by the vapor in the e-cigarettes as flavorful and less risky than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes as tobacco cigarettes to attract new and younger smokers—making the images of smokers seem cool, independent or sexy. For young people affected by ADHD, the lure of e-cigarettes could be very strong.

“The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes.”

E-cigarettes still deliver nicotine, a highly addictive substance and one that is difficult to quit once addiction forms. Cigarette addiction has been seen to run in families, as children are exposed to smoking by parents or other family members. Smoking has been linked to many health conditions, including cancer and heart disease. The American Lung Association states that in addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes have been found to contain toxic cancer-causing chemicals and substances, such as formaldehyde, that are inhaled directly into the lungs. It has also expressed concern about the potential for nicotine poisoning related to the liquid vaporized by the e-cigarettes.

It’s important to talk with your children and teens about e-cigarettes just as you do when it comes to traditional cigarettes. For suggestions on starting the conversation, visit the CDC’s You(th) & Tobacco information.


This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on February 25, 2016.
     


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