THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY HAS A KIDS MENU.

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.

NICOTINE = BRAIN POISON

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.

KIDS CAN STILL GET THESE VAPES

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

Allowed

Pre-Filled Pod Vapes

  • Juul JUUL
  • Purple Phix Vape PHIX
Allowed

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%.

Allowed

Refillable Vapes

  • Green Suorin Drop SUORIN DROP
Allowed

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.

Allowed

Single-Use Disposable Vapes

  • Yellow Puff Bar PUFF BAR
  • Red Posh POSH
Allowed

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.

Allowed

Vape Pens

  • purple vape pen Vape Pen
Allowed

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.

MENTHOL:
EASY TO HIT,
HARD TO QUIT.

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

Young girl smoking a menthol vape

HOW THE RULES BEND FOR VAPES

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

You

@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 www.flavorshookkids.org  

OUR PROGRESS IS ACCELERATING

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.
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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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After the vaping illness outbreak that hospitalized so many young people, I was relieved to hear about the FDA policy restricting flavored vaping products. Then I learned about the huge loophole that still lets the tobacco industry keep thousands of flavors, including menthol, on the market. Research indicates that electronic nicotine-delivery systems may put users at greater risk of COVID-19 death. Now I’m angry. 

The FDA 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 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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