Addiction Policy Forum Blog

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Cannabis use via E-cigarette on the Rise Among Adolescents

By Mark Gold, MD on April 2, 2019

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are the most commonly used nicotine-delivery product among US youth and their popularity is rising - 1 in 5 high school students currently use them. Until recently, there were few regulations on how companies that sell e-cigarettes can market and sell them - although companies claim that the product was made for and is marketed to adults, there has been a major uptick in use. Aggressive marketing campaigns that position e-cigarettes as a safe alternative to smoking have worked, convincing adults and youth that e-cigarettes are harmless. Because they are new to market, E-cigarette companies can also employ types of marketing strategies that are forbidden to traditional cigarette companies due to their efficacy among adolescents, such as sponsoring film and music festivals. E-cigarettes, also called vapes, vape-pens, and e-hookahs, can be filled with tobacco products that are far more addictive than cigarettes due to their much higher nicotine concentration. Instead of being packed with tobacco, e-cigarettes use cartridges that are filled with liquid that can deliver a much higher dosage of nicotine. These cartridges can also be can also be filled with cannabis.

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