Local experts react to FDA investigation into e-cigarette marketing practices

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — E-Cigarette giant Juul dominates the e-cigarette market and is now among several companies being investigated by the US Food And Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA says in addition to investigating marketing strategies and impact of several types of e-cigarettes among youth, it is also preparing to launch a campaign to discourage teens from vaping.

“The FDA should definitely investigate because more teenagers are using it, but then I feel like they should also investigate other electronic cigarette companies because they are using the same types of flavors, they’re marketing the same types of stealth pens,” Dr. Alvin Singh, Pediatric Pulmonologist for Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City said.

Dr. Singh says teens are using E-cigs at alarming rates.

“It’s becoming more common, some estimates are that one out of every four or five teenagers has used or continues to use electronic cigarettes,” he said.

He believes what makes these products so dangerous for teens is the amount of nicotine contained in each pod.

“Juul, which is the company being investigated, has pods that contain roughly the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes,” Singh said.

He says starting this habit at a very early age is gambling with your life as many of the long-term consequences are unknown.

“When you look at long-term studies of the damage that electronic cigarettes can do it’s really hard to know because kids haven’t been doing this for 20 years,” Dr. Singh said.

The FDA says it will launch its campaign focusing on preventing youth use of e-cigs in September. The investigation into e-cigarette marketing strategies is ongoing.

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