Beware: E-juice or flavored nicotine is hooking kids
What could be in that whipped cream can if not the sundae topping itself?
Some “e-juice” manufacturers are cloaking their highly addictive products in deceptively enticing packages such as miniature whipped cream cans — a marketing ploy that anti-tobacco advocates say targets young people. Other e-juice offerings look like tiny bottles of Sriracha sauce, apple juice boxes or cartons of vanilla wafers and Twinkies.
“E-juice,” or “vape juice,” is a flavored liquid that contains nicotine and is inserted into, and heated by, electronic cigarettes or vapes, which deliver the nicotine as vapor that users inhale. And they come in thousands of kid-friendly flavors, including rainbow candy, peanut butter and jelly, strawberry melon, and chocolate milk.
On Thursday, California Healthline’s Ana Ibarra and Emily Bazar, along with Steven Jensen, project director for Yolo County’s tobacco prevention program, discussed the enticing flavors and packaging — as well as some misleading vaping devices.
Take the Juul, a sensation among high schoolers, who are puffing it in school bathrooms and in class when teachers aren’t looking.
The Juul looks like a flash drive and can be charged using a USB port on a laptop. Many educators have mistaken it for just another trendy tech gadget.
But a Juul nicotine cartridge, known as a “pod,” delivers about 200 puffs — and about as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
Teens are getting hooked and schools are taking notice. Across the country, educators are teaching their staff and parents about the dangers of the Juul and similar devices.
E-cigarettes and flavored nicotine liquids also have caught the attention of public health officers and local governments.
California’s Department of Public Health in April launched its “Flavors Hook Kids” campaign to educate parents about some of these products.
And some California communities, including Yolo County, have banned the sale of flavored e-cig products. Others are trying to do so.
On Tuesday, voters in San Francisco will decide on “Proposition E,” a measure that would ban the sale of flavored vaping liquid and other flavored tobacco products.