When e-cigarettes came on the U.S. market in 2006, they were sold as a support for adult smokers who were trying to quit. These vaping products delivered nicotine to the user without some of the harmful chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes. However, since then, e-cigarettes have become customizable devices that can deliver a range of illicit drugs in many different flavors, and they’re being marketed to America’s youth.
Teenagers today are more likely to use vaping devices than traditional tobacco cigarettes when they start smoking. Data from the National Institutes of Health show the same trends: the rates of cigarette use among 12th grade students dropped from 36.5 percent in 1997 to 7.6 percent in 2018, while rates of the use of vaping products grew from 16.3 percent in 2016 to 26.7 percent just two years later.