Electronic cigarettes a growing concern for kids - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Electronic cigarettes a growing concern for kids

WEST QUINCY, Mo. (WGEM) -  Mint, coffee, and even watermelon.

 "It could be very enticing to younger children," says Marcy Holden, manager at A&D Discount Tobacco in West Quincy.

 These are only a few of the more than 7,000 flavors for electronic cigarettes on the market.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns that it's flavors like these that are attracting kids, and Quincy based Clinical Psychologist Dr. Frank Froman says it's all strategy. The manufacturers know exactly what they are doing.

"Whenever you wind up taking something that's a product and adding flavor to it, in the mind of the person using it like a kid, the flavor makes it okay. It wouldn't be something that's bad for me if it had chocolate in it, or bubblegum," Froman said. 

Dr. Froman says for some people, smoking can be a gateway drug to harsher substances. For kids, it's much easier when they are immediately influenced.

"If my friends all do marijuana, I'm probably more likely to do it, and it's easier if I have that smoking experience." 

He says each level is a platform to the next.

"If my friends all say let's try some cocaine, it's easier to do once if had some marijuana experience," he added.

Holden says she's been waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes, but it hasn't happened yet.

 "It's been kind of going a bit like, they're going to do this, and they're going to do that, but they haven't made their mind up really on this," Holden says.
For now, it is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to minors, but the rules have been vague.

"There is a lot of FDA rules out there that we don't really know a lot about," she said.

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