Disposable e-cigarettes have grown in popularity among youth. According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey among both middle and high school current e-cigarette users, the most commonly used device type was disposable. Disposable e-cigarettes come in many flavors but are not subject to the federal policy regulating flavored e-cigarettes. The policy only restricts flavors for closed-system e-liquid cartridges, like JUUL and its pods, and does not apply to refillable cartridges or disposable products.
Young people who use disposable e-cigarettes are not only risking nicotine addiction — the effects of nicotine exposure could also be harming brain development, altering nerve cell functioning and changing brain chemistry. Disposable e-cigarettes use nicotine salts; a formula that allows for much higher levels and efficient delivery of nicotine with less irritation compared to earlier generations of e-cigarettes . Nicotine is addictive and especially harmful to adolescent brains. Youth who use nicotine-containing products may be more likely to develop addictions to other substances, perform poorly in academics, and experience other behavioral disorders.
Disposable e-cigarettes come in flavors like Coconut Pineapple Smoothie, Strawberry Ice Cream, Gummy Bear, Mango Slushee and Blue Razz Lemonade. Disposable e-cigarette packaging emphasizes flavors with bright colored packaging that use descriptive names like O.M.G (Orange, Mango, Guava). Flavors play a significant role in drawing youth and young adults to start using e-cigarettes. According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey 85% of youth e-cigarette users report using flavored products, with fruit, candy, desserts, or other sweets, mint and menthol.
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