In the state of Texas, a new law will bump up the age allowed to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. Some teens say, knowing the health risks, it might not change many minds.
Social media can be a powerful thing. Especially when it comes to spreading the message with images that show the affects of what e-cigarettes can do to your health.
“Tobacco companies really target young people in particular and put a lot of resources in getting them to use early,” Bianca De Leon, Program Officer of Paso del Norte told KTSM.
As the “juuling” trend rises, more teens are starting to notice the health risks through social media.
“Especially if it’s a friend of a friend, it can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re actually consuming,” De Leon said.
One Twitter post has been gaining attention of a young woman sharing a picture of black spots on the roof of her mouth – later learning from a dental hygienist it’s pre-oral cancer.
De Leon however, said social media can still be used to attract youth from using electronic devices, “There are podcasts. There are YouTube videos that show how you can refill some of these devices that are intended for one time use only, and you can refill them with a variation of oils.”
According to the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, tobacco-use rates in El Paso for those between 18-29 years old was above 21% in 2016.
Even though there are links to variations of cancers and disease, some Borderland youth said it’s more of just a trend.
“I think at this point everyone already knows the health risks because I know the health risks. All my friends that do it know the health risks but they do it anyway because it’s more of a social high,” El Pasoan Fransesco Sanchez, “What you actually get out of a nicotine chemical is probably not what they’re going for versus just that social habit of having your juul out with your friends and it’s more of social thing than wanting to do drugs or whatever.”
The new law prohibiting tobacco sales for anyone under the age of 21 is expected to go into effect September 1st.