In April the Food and Drug Administration announced plans to begin regulating E-cigarettes. The decision brought relief to some parents who felt it would make it harder for teens to get their hands on the nicotine vapor devices. But according to the American Cancer Society the government's numbers on how many teens are using nicotine vapor devices has grown as development of those devices has increased.
So what's the difference between an E-cigarette and a 'vapor pen'? Industry expert Cynthia Cabrera says not much. "There are all kinds of different vapor products out there that people would classify as E-cigarettes, but they're really vapor products."
That is why some doctors are concerned. "An e-cigarette goes by many different names. It can be a pen, it can be a 'vape pen', but they all exist to do the same thing which is to deliver vaporized nicotine to the user," said Dr. Thomas Glynn from the American Cancer Society. He says all the different devices should raise a flag for parents. "They're sort of a camouflage. A lot of kids who would never be associated with a cigarette are perfectly happy to use a 'vape pen'. Youth, as well as adults, may be somewhat confused by it."
A recent CDC survey found 10 percent of high school students said they'd tried an E-cigarette, that number was double in 2012. But the CDC now says with the rise in use of different devices and the way they posed questions on the survey, their numbers could be lower than how many kids are taking in nicotine vapor!
Cynthia Cabrera meanwhile says the industry offers the options for their target consumer- current adult smokers.