In a new study by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of nonsmoking children who have tried e-cigarettes has nearly tripled in the past three years.
According to the report, 79,000 nonsmoking children had tried using e-cigarettes in 2011. By 2013, that number had increased to 263,000.
"It's definitely something that we expected. There is no regulation as far as children and e-cigarettes and marketing to children," said Julie Reid, the executive director of the American Lung Association of Arizona.
The FDA announced new rules earlier this year it had hoped to enact for e-cigarettes, but those plans are not yet in place.
"The tobacco companies are targeting children. They're putting flavors in their e-cigarettes. It's almost like a candy," Reid said.
Matt Berger, the owner of a Butt Out, a local e-cigarette shop, said the report's findings are disturbing.
"My initial response is: 'That's a shame.' Those are 250,000 kids which are illegally obtaining an addictive substance," Berger said.
However, Berger points out there is a difference between a multimillion-dollar company and a small shop like his own.
"The main message is that the electronic cigarette industry, at least the facet that I'm in, does not and will not promote to kids," he said.
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