On Tuesday August 8, the American FDA (Food & Drugs Administration) has announced that it will launch in 2018 a large campaign that aims at educating the youth about the dangers associated with e-cigarette use. This announcement follows other recent proposals – a one-year delay from 2021 to 2022 for new vaping products marketing authorization, the decrease of nicotine content in cigarettes-, and is a perfect example of how the agency is trying to find a balance between a certain flexibility in terms of e-cigarette regulations and strong measures to protect the youth from tobacco products.
For the American agency, electronic cigarettes still appear as a path to teen smoking. Since the risks of nicotine addiction are far more important for young aged 18 or less, the FDA wants to find new ways to fight against this plague. Those prevention campaigns on e-cigarettes will therefore be a part of a global tobacco awareness program. Even though e-cigarettes are generally considered as less harmful than tobacco products, the FDA is fully convinced that e-cigarettes can lure the youth into vaping with fruit-flavored e-liquids before leading them to start smoking.
It is estimated that 2 million of young Americans aged 11 to 18 have already used an e-cigarette. The authorities fear that e-cigarettes will act as a gateway to traditional tobacco cigarettes which are more dangerous and addictive due to the combusion of tobacco and higher levels of nicotine. However, recent studies have led to quite different conclusions: e-cigarette use does not lead to a higher tobacco use among young people.
The prevention campaign that the FDA has announced will be launched nationally next year as part of « The Real Cost » program designed by the agency. From 2014 to 2016, this program has enabled to convince 350 000 teenagers not to use tobacco products. The new campaign will benefit from an extended digital content and confirms the FDA’s wish to protect the youth from the dangers of nicotine addiction.