The tobacco industry uses fun flavors and tech devices to hook kids on nicotine. Why kids? A developing brain is easier to addict.

RETURN-TO-SCHOOL ALERT: As students return to in-person learning, kids have more opportunities to use vapes. Parents and teachers should watch for warning signs like increased mood swings, anxiety, and even taking a lot of bathroom breaks. Teens who vape are at 5–7x greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19. Explore this site with your teen to learn why vaping is more dangerous than ever.


The tobacco industry profits by hooking kids on flavored nicotine.

Flavors red cherry icon

  • 96% of high school kids in CA who vape use flavors.
  • Vapes come in kid-friendly flavors like Blue Razz, Pegasus Milk, Menthol Freeze.
  • Flavors mask tobacco’s harshness.
  • Flavoring chemicals can damage lungs.

New nicotine blue molecule icon

  • Many tobacco companies use a highly concentrated form of nicotine called nicotine salts that’s engineered for vaping.
  • Tobacco companies often use nicotine salts in vapes instead of regular nicotine.
  • Nicotine salts allow higher concentrations to be inhaled more easily,  and absorbed more quickly, than regular nicotine.
  • Whether it’s regular nicotine or nicotine salts, addiction happens fast, and can lead to further substance abuse.

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  • Nicotine is poison for the adolescent brain. 
  • Nicotine changes the way connections form in the brain. 
  • Nicotine can interfere with attention and learning.
  • Nicotine can increase anxiety, mood swings, and irritability.

Youth and young adult vaping is associated with 5 – 7x greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19.

In the last 2 years, vaping has increased by 218% among middle schoolers and 135% among high schoolers

96% of kids who vape use flavors

Teens are nearly 7x more likely to vape nicotine than adults

Marijuana vaping among youth has increased by 58% in a single year

Teens who vape are 3x more likely than non-vapers to become daily cigarette smokers

The average age of youth and young adults who try smokeless tobacco, like chew or snus, for the first time is 16.

An FDA Policy With a Dangerous Loophole

The youth vaping epidemic finally prompted FDA action. Victory? Not by a long shot. Pressure from the tobacco industry created a dangerous loophole that lets kids continue to get vapes in thousands of flavors, including menthol.


Since the flawed policy was adopted, sales of all menthol vapes have jumped by 52%. Companies that used to sell fruit-flavored or pre-filled flavor pods to kids changed tactics. Now, they push the vapes that remain unregulated, like menthol and disposable. No surprise, those sales are up.

FDA policy does not allow:

  • Any pre-filled flavored vape pods that snap into vapes like Juul pods. However, menthol and tobacco flavors are still allowed.

FDA policy continues to allow:

  • All refillable flavored vapes, like Suorin and Smok.
  • All single-use disposable flavored vapes, like Puff Bar.
  • Pre-filled menthol and tobacco-flavored pods.


Despite the FDA flavors policy, kids can still buy certain types of vapes. Click each product for details.


Pre-Filled Pod Vapes

  • Juul JUUL
  • Purple Phix Vape PHIX

Pre-Filled Pod Vapes

The FDA ended the sale of vapes with pre-filled flavored pods like Juul and Phix. Despite the FDA policy, menthol- and tobacco-flavored pre-filled vape pods are still on the market. In fact, after the policy went into effect, sales of all menthol vape pods increased by 52%.


Refillable Vapes

  • Green Suorin Drop SUORIN DROP

Refillable Vapes

Suorin Drops are refillable. The FDA policy only prohibits pre-filled flavored pods, so these are still allowed in thousands of kid-friendly flavors.


Single-Use Disposable Vapes

  • Yellow Puff Bar PUFF BAR
  • Red Posh POSH

Single-Use Disposable Vapes

Single-use disposable vapes like Puff Bar and Posh Vape don’t have pods. The vape itself contains the flavored nicotine. So these vapes in candy flavors like Menthol Freeze, Blue Razz and Sour Apple sail right through the loophole and onto shelves. In fact, disposable vapes have had a great year since the FDA policy went into effect, enjoying the increase in sales of flavors that were restricted in pre-filled vape products like Juul.


Vape Pens

  • purple vape pen Vape Pen

Vape Pens

Vape pens are refillable in thousands of kid-friendly flavors. They get through the FDA loophole because the policy states no more pre-filled pods, letting refillable vapes off the hook.


When will childhood addiction rates drop? When tobacco tastes like tobacco.

Young girl smoking a menthol vape


How can the industry still sell flavored disposable vapes?

The FDA restricts pre-filled flavored pods. Single-use disposable vapes don’t have pods. So Puff Bar, Posh, and other disposables sail right through the loophole onto shelves. The tobacco industry is free to market high-potency nicotine in kid-friendly flavors for as little as ten bucks a pop. No surprise that teens have switched to disposable vapes—another concern as campuses reopen post-pandemic.

How did Juul get off easy?

As they phased out the flavors that eventually became restricted, Juul promoted menthol- and tobacco-flavored vapes instead. Now, despite the FDA flavors ban, Juul sells more menthol- and tobacco-flavored e-cigs than ever. In fact, sales of all menthol vapes are up by 52%. So, the company that’s widely considered responsible for the vaping epidemic is doing just fine.

The FDA policy loophole lets thousands of flavored, kid-friendly vapes stay on the market

The tobacco industry got the flavors loophole they lobbied for, so our kids still have plenty of flavored vapes to choose from. It’s time to take action.

FDA logo

US Food and Drug Administration

@US_FDA Twitter Verified Icon


@US_FDA You’d think a flavored-vape policy would slow sales for tobacco companies. It hasn’t. Companies like Juul keep on profiting while kids suffer. #flavorshookkids  


Communities up and down the state have moved quickly over the last few years to protect their kids from flavored tobacco products. But there’s still work to be done.
17 policies
Statewide Policy

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The tobacco industry targets kids with flavors. Reaching out to your local officials can make a difference. Enter your name, choose your location and we’ll direct your email to your city’s mayor or your county supervisors.


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The tobacco industry’s replacement customers can’t legally buy their products but that hasn’t stopped the billion-dollar, Big Tobacco marketing machine from targeting our kids with social media ads, fun flavors, and products that appear less harmful than their parent’s cigarettes.

The tobacco industry has doubled down on addicting young people as their business model—harming kids’ health as they experiment with new products and flavors to see what sticks. Flavors such as menthol, Blue Razz, Banana Ice, and Arctic Cool Mint were created by the industry to mask the harsh taste of tobacco, which kids don’t like, making tobacco products easier to start using and even harder to quit. Big Tobacco depends on young people using their products to make a profit and keep them in business. Flavored vapes are kids’ product of choice. And teens who vape are 3x more likely to become daily cigarette smokers.

Most California high school students who use tobacco use vapes. Vaping allows higher concentrations of nicotine to be inhaled and absorbed more easily than other tobacco products like cigarettes. Nicotine—which is as addictive as heroin—is poison for the developing brain and rewires the brain to crave more of it. This creates nicotine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, restlessness, and the inability to concentrate. We know that nicotine can affect learning and increase anxiety, mood swings, and irritability.

It’s not all about vapes though. Other tobacco products are just as appealing for their wide array of flavors and low-cost ease of purchasing, such as smokeless tobacco like snus or chew, and little cigars and cigarillos. Unfortunately, these are also harmful to the developing brain and body because they also contain nicotine.

This is the moment to break the cycle of addiction. We have the power to create a better, future for our kids, and that starts with keeping Big Tobacco from targeting our kids for disease and death. We need your leadership on every aspect of the youth vaping epidemic now more urgently than ever.

Thank you for your leadership in the fight to stop the tobacco industry from targeting our kids. Banning the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes was an important step. Unfortunately, despite our local ban and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy, menthol-flavored products are still on the market and available to kids. So the flavor widely recognized as Big Tobacco’s starter product is still on the market.

The FDA’s dangerous policy loophole is a win for tobacco companies. And when they win, our kids lose—with addiction, lung damage, and brain changes that could last their lifetimes

Let’s not let the tobacco industry get away with this. Over 90 California jurisdictions have already restricted the sale of ALL flavored tobacco products, including menthol, to protect their kids. We need your continued leadership on every aspect of the youth vaping epidemic now more urgently than ever.

Thank you for your leadership in the fight to protect our kids from targeting by the tobacco industry. I’m so grateful that our city has banned the sale of flavored tobacco products. We’re helping to keep kids safe from the serious health risks of nicotine.

Sadly, underage vaping continues to grow. I hope more people will work toward reversing the rise in teen vaping. California kids deserve the chance to live a healthy, nicotine-free childhood.

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