Sen. Schumer to take aim at e-cigarette marketing

May 25, 2018 05:26 AM

Fifteen-year-old Jack Solomon is a high school freshman. And like so many others his age a Juul is a must-have because they're addicted to the nicotine fix it delivers.

“All of my friends use them now. What was most appealing was the flavors,” he said.

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Flavors like mango, mint, fruit medley, and crème brulee.  Sen. Chuck Schumer says it's just one way Juul and other e-cig manufacturers are specifically targeting teens.  On Thursday, he and a group of hooked high schoolers met with the Food and Drug Administration to make a plan for change.

“To not allow it to be marketed to kids with enticing flavors like mango or bubblegum or in packages that make it look like candy,” Schumer said.

“I think it’s marketed towards the vaping community,” added Jacob Looman from Vapor Geekz in Clifton Park.

Looman defends the intent of the marketing but concedes some of the vape juice they sell could be appealing to teens. He acknowledges what will happen if they use them.

“They're going to get addicted to nicotine,” Looman said.

“What's happening is these exotic flavors are dragging them in and nicotine is making them stay. It’s a flavor trap and a nicotine trap,” said high school student Justin Waxman.

“It’s across the country,” Schumer added. “Some of these kids think almost three quarters of the kids they know are dealing with Juul, which is not a good thing.”

Schumer said he essentially wants to do to e-cig marketing what the country did to cigarette marketing and prevent it from being so appealing to kids.

Just one Juul pod contains as much nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes. And the state department of health says scientific research has shown e-cig use may carry long-term health risks for users and those exposed to secondhand emissions.

Parents are urged to keep an eye out to see if their kids have the devices.


WNYT Staff

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