June 18, 2019
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For a group that doesn’t drink or have sex as much as their predecessors, Gen Z’s one vice seems to be vaping. Despite years of declining tobacco use, a study released earlier this year found 1.3M more teens vaped in 2018 over 2017. 3.6M middle and high school students vaped within 30 days in 2018.
What’s going on here? E-cig company Juul, which owns 70% of the market, has faced the most scrutiny—investigating it’s teen-focused, often cartoon-based marketing is one of the few things that has both sides of Congress in agreement these days. A recent study found teens make up the majority of Juul’s Twitter followers, and flavors like candy and chocolate seem to be clearly catered to kids. Sure, old folks like candy too, but a third of young people share the flavors are the reason they vape. Because e-cigs are a grey area of the industry, many of the advertising rules traditional cigarette and tobacco companies have to follow don’t apply.
As Juul pledges to research the issue in order to avoid a 2022 shutdown from the FDA, a number of states are looking to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21, largely in response to what many are calling a vaping epidemic. CVS Health announced that it’s spending $10M to stop teen e-cigarette use. And schools are cracking down, too: a Nebraska school district says it’ll test students for nicotine if they participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities. Watch your back, vape pens. 

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Today's Quick Hit: #LifeGoals
DoSomething Strategic (formerly TMI Strategy) is the data-driven consultancy arm of We help brands and organizations engage young people for positive social change.

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