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Your Teen is Vaping – Now What?

Electronic Cigarettes Receive FDA Authorization

The United States Federal Drug Administration announced on Oct.12 that it would authorize the marketing of certain vape products. According to CNN, the FDA authorized the company R.J. Reynolds to sell select vape products.

The FDAs authorization becomes the first of its kind for these types of products. The FDA has released a statement clarifying these actions. It has stated that the benefits to those trying to quit smoking outweigh the risks of having it on the market. According to a study conducted by the Center For Disease Control, more than two million middle school and high school students reported using electronic cigarettes in 2021. 80 percent of those reported using flavored products. The FDA has stated that they will keep an eye on these numbers. They have also cited these issues as why they have not authorized flavored products. The three products that were authorized for market use are tobacco flavored. The FDA denied the request from R.J. Reynolds to authorize 10 flavored products. These flavors included fruit, candy or mint.

The New York Times published that the FDA finds that the aerosols in the electronic cigarettes are less toxic than those found in cigarettes. In the past few months, the FDA had ordered many vape products off the market. This includes Puff Bars. Puff Bars garnered a lot of popularity among teens as it provided a variety of fruity flavors for its consumers.

These authorizations have been met with backlash. The president of the American Lung Association has expressed concerns about the implication on the youth population. She cited the government’s recent survey that found that Vuse, the authorized model of cigarettes, is one of the most popular among adolescents. On the other hand, the company has stated that the FDA’s actions demonstrate that the electronic cigarettes are beneficial and appropriate for public health.

Some have claimed that allowing vape products to stay on the market may be beneficial. The authorization may allow the government to impose more regulations on traditional cigarettes. The government hopes to regulate the carcinogens found in cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes first hit the market in the 2000s. They were created as an alternative for cigarette smokers and advertised as beneficial. Companies claimed to not contain the carcinogens of traditional cigarettes. Around 2014, fruity flavors overtook the market. Subsequently, many teens began using the products. This resulted in conversations on the safety of electronic cigarettes. The topic on the benefits of electronic cigarettes have become a heated debate.

The FDA only recently began the review of the vape products to determine which can stay on the market. In 2020, the FDA required all companies to apply for FDA authorization. The FDA has continuously denied authorization to flavored electronic cigarettes. This is their effort to reduce youth exposure and access to the products. The FDA has also stated that it will retract authorization from companies if evidence emerges that there is a lot of teen use of the products. As the year continues, more authorizations and approvals will be announced.

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Graciela is a senior at FSU currently majoring in behavioral neuroscience. She is striving to become a forensic pathologist after completing medical school in the future. She loves to read and watch movies in her free time!
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