Flavors and Marketing Make E-cigarettes Appealing to Youth
- E-cigarettes come in various flavors, including fruit, candy, mint, and menthol.
- A study from 2013-2014 showed that most youth who use e-cigarettes first start with a flavored variety, and flavors are the primary reason youth report using e-cigarettes.
- In 2020, most youth who reported using e-cigarettes used flavored varieties (82.9%). Among high school students who currently used any type of flavored e-cigarettes in 2020, the most commonly used flavors are fruit (73.1%), mint (55.8%), menthol (37.0%), and candy, desserts, or other sweets (36.4%).
- On January 2, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized an enforcement policy that prohibits the sale of prefilled cartridge e-cigarettes in any flavor other than tobacco or menthol, unless authorized by FDA. FDA has since taken additional steps to prohibit certain companies from selling youth-appealing, flavored disposable e-cigarettes and flavored e-liquids without authorization.
- Several states and communities have restricted the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol-flavored products.
- E-cigarettes are also advertised using the same themes and tactics that have been shown to increase youth initiation of other tobacco products, including cigarettes. In 2016, about 7 in 10 middle school and high school students (69.3%)—more than 18 million youth—said they had seen e-cigarette advertising.
- Widespread advertising for e-cigarettes, including via media for which advertising for conventional tobacco products is prohibited (e.g., TV), and the lower costs of some e-cigarettes relative to regular cigarettes has contributed to use among youth.
- Many youth also report using e-cigarettes because they are curious about these products.