Adolescent smoking in the United States has been an ongoing issue throughout history. In December 2019, the federal legal age to purchase tobacco products was raised from 18 to 21 years old. The legal age change was done to help prevent teenage addiction to tobacco products. Recently, the focus has changed from traditional cigarettes to vapes such as Kangs and Jules. This form of nicotine is much more attractive to the younger generation because it can be purchased in fruity flavors and eliminates the “smoker smell.” The FDA gained control over the vape market in 2016. This policy was coined the “Deeming Rule.” The policy allowed the FDA to regulate and approve new products such as e-cigarettes or vapes (Rector & Stanley, 2022). The policy removed multiple products from the market and provided a policy to allow stricter guidelines to prevent adolescents from purchasing these products. While the policy changes have helped the epidemic, studies have shown that education about the risk factors has significantly affected the issue (Campbell & Baker, 2020). This issue affects more than just the adolescents being addicted. The parents and society are affected due to the early onset of health problems the vapes provide. Adolescents are more likely to begin their nicotine addiction if their peers are also involved in similar behavior (Campbell & Baker, 2020). Educating multiple adolescents in a friend group can positively impact the group. By creating policy and including education, the epidemic has been improved. The nursing profession promotes health education and can assist in this task.
Campbell, N. & Baker, K. (2020). Evaluating Evidence to Underscore Health Promotion Activities to Prevent Teenage Vaping. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 31 (2), 134-136. doi: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000339.
Rector, C. L., & Stanley, M. J. (2022). Community and Public Health Nursing: Promoting the public’s health. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.