High school minors have discovered a new extracurricular activity, and the Food and Drug Administration as well as teachers and health officials have noticed it and want to curb the use.
FDA Tries To Stop Minors From Using Vape Pens
According to the Associated Press, teenagers are using e-cigarettes, also known as vaporizing pens, during school hours. The kids are reportedly taking smoke breaks in the hallways as well as bathrooms and have even taken pulls in the classrooms.
The popularity and use of the e-cigarettes is why the FDA has started a nationwide crackdown and are encouraging retailers to stop selling the pipes to those who are underage.
Robert Keuther, a principal at the Marshfield High School in Massachusetts, told the Associated Press that he and the other faculty members at the school have noticed an increase in the number of students who are using the pipes.
"This is not something specific to one group of kids. It's across all of my grades, nine to 12. It's all students," Keuther stated.
Keuther further explained that he believes more students are using the vaporizing pens because they are concealable, which makes it easy for them to hide the pens as well as the smoke in their clothes.
Teachers are also blaming a company called JUUL e-cigarettes as the reason the pipes are becoming so popular among minors. They believe the company is specifically targeting them with their designs and fruity and pastry-themed flavors. The concern has caused some states to raise the purchasing age to 21 years old, but some students are still able to purchase them in school from their peers.
JUUL Increases The Age To Purchase Tobacco Products
On Wednesday, April 25, JUUL defended the claims by announcing their decision to raise the minimum purchasing age to 21 and their commitment to prevent young people as well as those who don't smoke to refrain from using their products.
"We want to be a leader in seeking solutions, and are actively engaged with, and listening to, community leaders, educators and lawmakers on how best to effectively keep young people away from JUUL," JUUL said in a statement.
JUUL also stated that their products were initially designed to offer an alternative to adults who wanted to quit smoking cigarettes. Though it has not been confirmed if e-cigarettes have long-term effects, they are still not encouraged for minors, pregnant women, or adults who usually don't smoke. The product's aerosol may contain cancer-causing chemicals, which are linked to lung disease.