E-Cigarette Sales On the Rise Among Teens

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

HARRISONBURG -- New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal e-cigarette use isn't just going up among adults. It's also going up among teens.

"I'm tired of being a walking ash tray. Negative two, I'm tired of feeling guilty every time I want to light up. I'm Stephen Dorff. I've been a smoker for twenty-years and I just found the smarter alternative. Blu e-cigs," those were the words echoed in an e-cigarette ad.

That ad had more than a 140,000 views on YouTube.

E-cigarettes like Blu are sold in stores like the Smokehaus.

The electronic cigarettes convert liquid nicotine into an inhalable flavoring appealing to young adults.

"I'm seeing an increase in the sales, seems to be a steady increase in sales," said Louis Weatherholtz, the owner of Smokehaus.

Louis Weatherholtz isn't the only one seeing an increase, so is the CDC.

The CDC reports 10 percent of high school students it surveyed said they had tried e-cigarettes, that's a 4 percent increase from last year.

Before entering the Smokehaus, all customers must show proof that they are 18 years of age or older.

"We treat the e-cigarettes just like we do all tobacco. You have to be eighteen or older to purchase," said Louis Weatherholtz.

One way teens are able to get their hands on e-cigarettes is online.

Sites like Blucigs.com ask that you don't enter if you are under the age of eighteen or you can't buy tobacco legally where you live, but with the click of a mouse anyone can enter without getting their age verified.

Weatherholts doesn't smoke himself, but thinks e-cigarettes are a healthier option.

"They eliminate the burning of the paper any kind of additives they put in the tobacco," said Weatherholtz.

A recent FDA study found that e-cigarettes release toxic and cancer-causing chemicals.

Weatherholtz says he sells about a dozen e-cigarettes per week.
He is gearing up for next month when the FDA plans on announcing its plan to regulate e-cigarettes.

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