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October 28, 2019

Flavored e-cigarettes lead to heavier use among teens, study says

Prevention Vaping
Vaping teen epidemic flavored e-cigarettes Lee Philips/Pexels

Teens who vape non-traditional flavors, such as fruity or sweet flavors, are more likely to vape for longer and more heavily than teens who use traditional flavors, such as tobacco and menthol, a new study says.

Non-traditional vaping flavors, such as fruity or sweet flavors, may lead to increased vaping among teens and young adults, says a new study from the University of Southern California.

The study published in Pediatrics found teens that vaped non-traditional flavors were more likely to continue vaping and to vape more heavily than teens who vaped traditional flavors, like tobacco and menthol. 

Researchers examined 478 teenage students in Los Angeles over a period of two years, starting with their sophomore year in 2015 and ending with their senior year in 2017. Researchers surveyed the students' vaping experiences every six months. 

Researchers found that 64.3% of the students that were vaping non-traditional flavors were still vaping six months later compared to 42.9% that vaped traditional flavors, like tobacco. Students that vaped non-traditional flavors also tended to vape more heavily six months later. 

Researchers argue that their findings suggest regulations on non-traditional vaping flavors could minimize teen vaping and potentially encourage quitting among teens and young adults if the desired flavors are no longer available. 

Recently, the popular e-cigarette manufacturer Juul suspended the sale of its popular non-menthol flavors, including cucumber, mango, creme and fruit, on Oct. 17 following a pending FDA review. 

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