Skip to main content

Teen e-cigarette use is now an 'epidemic,' feds say

The FDA commission says the trend is 'deeply disturbing.'

Federal health officials say that e-cigarette use among U.S. teenagers has reached "epidemic" levels.

That's according to the Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who says he's "disturbed" by the latest trends showing a growth in vaping among America's children.

While noting the impact that e-cigarettes have had in reducing overall smoking levels, Gottlieb said what was not foreseen was its popularity among younger Americans.

"We didn’t predict what I now believe is an epidemic of e-cigarette use among teenagers," he said.

"I’m deeply disturbed by the trends I’ve seen. I’m disturbed by an epidemic of nicotine use among teenagers," he added. "So, we’re at a crossroads today. It’s one where the opportunities from new innovations will be responsibly seized on right now, or perhaps lost forever."

"The FDA won’t tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products," he said.

His department will look into possible efforts to reduce e-cig use, including imposing potential restrictions on flavored tobacco that are most popular among teens, unless the industry does more to tackle the issue.

Follow BMTN on Flipboard.

He will consider curtailing marketing of flavored tobacco as one of the possible remedies, and has given the country's largest e-cigarette manufacturers 60 days to come up with a plan to stop underage children using their products.

A number of cities in Minnesota have been taking steps to tackle nicotine use among local youths, with several Twin Cities suburbs raising the smoking age to 21 in an attempt to drive down smoking and vaping rates.

A recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that past month e-cig use among 12th graders was at 16.2 percent, at 14 percent among 10th graders, and 9.5 percent among 8th graders.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.01.44 PM

Twin Cities radio host Matt McNeil seriously injured in crash

A post on his social media account says he'll recover.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.48.55 PM

Marshalls in downtown Minneapolis to close its doors to shoppers

The company confirmed it will be open until mid-January.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.


Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.


Internet providers to get $100M to expand coverage across Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the largest single investment in broadband infrastructure in the state's history.

Forest Lake High School

Charges: Man left knife tucked in bathroom stall inside high school

The 42-year-old entered the bathroom Tuesday morning and left 15 minutes later.


Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.


U of M researchers identify link between e-cigarettes and cancer

E-cigs contain trace elements of a chemical that can establish in the body after inhalation.

Doctors: Don't microwave children's food in plastic containers

The American Academy of Pediatrics say it could pose health risks to children.

'Severe lung injuries' linked to vaping found in Minnesota teens

Similar reports have been received in Wisconsin as well.

Teen vaping use in Minnesota as risen 'sharply,' study finds

There's been a significant increase in 8th and 11th graders vaping.

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 1.32.15 PM

Family looks for answers to teen's mystery life-threatening illness

Claire Celski requires round-the-clock observation, but nobody knows what's causing it.