BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From one teen to the next, e-cigarettes, or vaping, has skyrocketed in popularity.
“Everyone does it, like everyone, every time I go into a bathroom someone is doing it,” One teenager said.
With the growing use in e-cigarettes comes the growing concern over what the nicotine vapor can do to developing teenage brains.
Now, the FDA is banning sales of most flavored e-cigarettes in retail stores and gas stations nationwide- in an effort to curb what they call an epidemic.
“Too little, too late, they should’ve done this a while ago,” said Scott Krugman, vice chair of Pediatrics at Sinai Hospital. “It makes no sense at all that these products are allowed to be marketed and mass produced,”
Krugman said if the kids are hooked on nicotine at a young age, they are even more likely to switch over to cigarettes.
“If the intent of use is to have adults quit smoking, then limit it to adults quitting smoking,” Krugman said.
They are also being used for other drugs. Krugman said not only are they easily accessible but, other things can be put in them, including marijuana.
The long-term effect remains to be the million-dollar question.
“The big answer is we don’t know, we have no idea what the long-term use of e-cigarettes is,” Krugman said.
Dr. Krugman added that because e-cigarettes are so new, no study has been done to show what the long-term effect is. He said that could easily take another 20 years before they find out the type of impact it is having on teens.
The FDA also has stricter age-verification requirements planned for online sales of e-cigarettes.