A new analysis suggests that teens prefer mint and mango as their vaping flavors of choice for e-cigarettes. Previous research showed that teens were attracted to nicotine vaping by the candy and fruit-flavored products offered by manufacturers. Products and trends are quickly evolving, and estimates of the specific e-cigarette flavors teens use are lacking; therefore, scientists wanted to find out which flavors are now preferred by teens. The report, published in JAMA, was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products.
The study focused on JUUL products, the most widely used brand, which is available in multiple flavors. Data were from the 2019 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, which annually surveys eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students in U.S. schools. A randomly-selected third of MTF respondents were asked, "Which JUUL flavor do you use most often?"
The 2019 data suggests that among both 12th and 10th graders, mint and mango ranked first and second (at about 47 percent and 24 percent for seniors; 44 percent and 27 percent for 10th graders). Among eighth graders, mango was most popular at 34 percent, followed by mint at 29 percent. In all grades, fruit flavoring was ranked third, followed by “Other.” Menthol was among the least popular (less than 2.3 percent for eighth graders; less than 3 percent for 10th graders and less than 6 percent for seniors).
The overall 2019 Monitoring the Future vaping data released last month showed a significant increase in past-month vaping of nicotine in each of the three grade levels since last year. Additional findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey, documenting the use of and attitudes about marijuana, alcohol and other drugs, will be released in December.
For a copy of the paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, go to Flavors of E-Cigarettes Used by Youth in the United States.
For more information about vaping, go to Tobacco/Nicotine and Vaping.
Update: In December 2019, the federal government raised the legal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.
Update: In January 2020, the FDA issued a policy on flavored vaping cartridges.
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