The rate of young people in Wisconsin smoking e-cigarettes is up 154 percent, according to the Department of Health Services.
Due to the large increase, the DHS issued a public health advisory on the use of e-cigs among children Friday.
The Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in the advisory that nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm young people’s brains, which are still developing through the age of 25.
E-cigs also expose users to harmful substances like heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs.
Specifically, the DHS singled out the e-cig company JUUL. The JUUL devices look like a flash drive and a popular among teenagers with kid-friendly flavors like mango and mint.
According to the advisory, 89 percent of high school students said they would not try tobacco products that were not flavored.
The DHS has laid out several resources for parents, teachers and health professionals in the advisory. Click here to read the that advisory in its entirety.
JUUL sent TODAY'S TMJ4 the following statement, saying they are also trying to work to keep children from using their products:
“JUUL Labs shares a common goal with the Surgeon General and other federal health regulators – preventing youth from initiating on nicotine. We are committed to preventing youth access of JUUL products. We cannot fulfill our mission to provide the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes if youth use continues unabated. As we said before, our intent was never to have youth use JUUL products. We have taken dramatic action to contribute to solve this problem, which is why we implemented the JUUL Labs Action Plan [newsroom.juul.com] to address underage use of JUUL products.
“We stopped the distribution of certain flavored JUULpods to retail stores as of November 17, 2018, strengthened the age verification of our industry leading site, eliminated our Facebook and Instagram accounts, and are developing new technology to further limit youth access and use. We are committed to working with the Surgeon General, FDA, state Attorneys General, local municipalities, and community organizations as a transparent and responsible partner in this effort.”