Simplifying Science

What’s the Real Hook?

A version of this story appeared in many different publications this summer. This particular version, from USA Today, brings up an interesting point: should the focus of e-cig and Juul regulation revolve around flavoring? Or should the battle with the FDA focus on the real culprit here - nicotine? Almost every time I speak or write about this emerging epidemic among kids, the conversation goes to marketing. Parents are - rightfully - up in arms that e-cig companies pander to their children by selling flavors clearly intended to attract youngsters. But then there's the comment in this piece: “I started smoking when I was 12-years old, and guess what … it wasn’t because Marlboro had a fresh fruity flavor.” A brutal reminder that while we need to address the fact that Juul and others market directly to our kids, we also cannot forget that nicotine in and of itself can hook you.

Teen vaping is at the tipping point before possible epidemic levels, federal officials and public health advocates agree, but they're feuding over how fast and far to go to rein in the booming electronic cigarette industry.

Some of the health groups that sued the Food and Drug Administration for delaying regulation of vape products by four years charged last week that the agency let several new devices similar to the youth-favored...READ MORE