An alert — and concerned — “06880” reader writes:
The other day my daughters and I walked by the Merritt Country Store. The small shop sells food, candy, cigarettes, magazines, lottery tickets — and all kinds of vaping cartridges. The most well-known are Juuls.
We were on our way to Coffee An’, one of our favorite places in town. I noticed the bright, bold posters in the windows of the Merritt store. All but one advertised vaping. All are placed at children’s eye level.
It reminded me of a great presentation that Dr. Ruth Potee gave recently at Staples High School about drug and alcohol use. She described the e-cigarette campaigns that companies utilize to advertise directly to kids.
They use bold, colorful print to draw attention to products in an effort to get kids attracted, and addicted, early.
There’s even a term for this generation of nicotine-addicted children: “Nic Kids.” There may be fewer smokers in this generation, but nicotine use via e-cigarettes or vaping, is clearly on the rise.
According to former FDA Director Scott Gottlieb — a Westport resident — 3.6 million teenagers (middle and high school students) vaped in 2017. That’s a 40% increase since 2011.
Companies market kid-appealing flavors, such as “fruity” vape cartridges (Juul) via online ads, and cool colorful posters in store windows where kids buy candy, gum and soda,
Teenagers’ developing brains quickly become addicted to nicotine via e-cigarettes and other pod-based nicotine delivery systems. E-cigarette use affects brain development, lungs and future addictive behavior.
A new FDA report connects e-cig devices and vaping with seizures.
As the mother of 3 children, I speak openly about addiction and the undermining of their brains by means of these “ends” (electronic nicotine delivery systems).
I urge every adult to avoid patronizing any store that advertises these drugs to our kids. The only ones who benefit are the drug companies and the stores that advertise and sell their products.
Our kids pay the price.