One in 11 USA teenagers have vaped hashish, new examine finds

One in 11 US teens use ‘cannabis in e-cigarettes’

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will stage a massive education campaign aimed at the almost 10.7 million teens at risk for e-cigarette use and potential addiction, the agency said Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said: "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end".

"These estimates are consistent with or higher than previous reports of cannabis use in e-cigarettes among U.S. and Canadian students", said the report, which did not examine overall rates of vaping among teens.

Among tobacco users of all ages surveyed, 45 per cent of daily smokers and 40 per cent of occasional smokers reported also using e-cigarettes.

While applauding the FDA's move, Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis for the nonprofit Center on Addiction, said that if the agency had taken action when the trend was first identified, "we probably could have avoided the surge in the use of child-friendly, high-dose nicotine products that we're now seeing among kids as young as 12 years old". In particular, the FDA might curtail specially flavored e-cigarette liquids, which are thought to appeal to teenagers.

As use of e-cigarettes among vulnerable teenage populations continues to balloon, there is a palpable sense of worry and consternation about the potential widespread health effects of these products.

While 58 per cent of those aged 55-plus strongly supported the notion of banning flavoured e-cigarettes, only a third of those 18 to 34 agreed with the idea. A study in the journal Pediatrics, for example, found five cancer-causing toxins in the urine of 16-year-olds who inhaled e-cigarette vapor.

"No youth should ever use e-cigs", Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said in a video during Tuesday's announcement. "We must make it crystal clear that e-cigarette use can expose them to risky chemicals that can cause lung damage when inhaled". Repeated studies show that while many teenagers experiment with e-cigarettes, only a small percentage go on to use them regularly - and most of those are teens who already smoke, and would benefit from switching to a safer alternative.

Messages will appear on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Instagram, and on posters in high schools, as well as on the FDA's "The Real Cost" campaign website. "There are a variety of ways that cannabis or marijuana could be used in an e-cigarette, such as putting hash oils, waxes, and other THC liquids directly in the e-liquid section of an e-cigarette".

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In June, a government survey found teen vaping seemed to be holding steady previous year.

"Flavored vape juice may not be as sweet as it sounds", one video says as the strawberries on the screen rot into dry fungus.

Meanwhile, the FDA is also ferreting out retailers who sell vaping products to minors, sending more than 1,100 warning letters to stores caught selling e-cigarettes to minors and levying fines on 131 repeat offenders.

"Smokers are far more likely to say that e-cigarettes have the potential to do more good than harm", she said.

Thus the ad campaign, the FDA's Kathy Crosby said.

But preliminary federal data shows vaping by high school students is up by about 75 percent this year, which would translate into use by more than 20 percent of this age group.

Of course, Altria and others risk having their own e-cigs banned too, but analysts say the big tobacco companies are in a much better position.

"Voluntary action by companies has never been a solution", he added, "and the FDA must prohibit their social media marketing and crack down on the use of flavors". That's not true. E-cigarettes can come pre-filled with e-liquids or e-liquids can be added to the device.

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