The American Heart Association (AHA) is just one of many that has expressed concerns over how many young American’s are using e-cigarettes. Comments from the AHA were released just after the release of the 2017 CDC data, which revealed that an estimated 2.1 million middle and high school students have used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.

Many hoped this number would fall. While it did decrease, it was a minor decline from just under 2.2 million reported in 2016. AHA CEO, Nancy Brown, admitted in a statement that the decline by the 2016 survey has appeared to have stalled.

She went on to say, “Our greatest fear is that this may be a warning sign of a reversal, and in coming years we may see a disturbing rise in the number of middle and high school students who smoke e-cigarettes.”

Multiple studies have been conducted to find out more about cigarette and e-cigarette use by American teenagers. It was discovered that 11.7 percent of high school students smoke e-cigarettes, compared to 7.7 percent who smoke cigarettes. What is attracting young people to e-cigarette products? Studies have linked the popularity of these e-cig products to their flavors.

“The tobacco industry is well aware that flavored tobacco products appeal to youth and has taken advantage of this by marketing them in a wider range of fruit and candy flavors. Their strategy is working too well, unfortunately,” says Brown.

Many are now pushing for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on the enforcement of age restrictions on tobacco sales, including Brown. Some have even gone so far as to say that these products – far to kid-appealing products – should be removed from the market completely. The growing criticism of the industry has made it difficult for the businesses that offer these products.

Many banks have become hesitant to offer their services to e-cig merchants. Without a merchant account, these businesses are left unable to process customers’ payments safely. This is where high-risk specialists have stepped in. These alternative providers offer accounts that are specifically tailored to the meet the needs of the industry, like an electronic cigarette merchant account.

For now, the AHA, customers and merchants are all waiting to see what the next move will be. Will the FDA step in and address this ever-growing issue? Some believe that future federal bans are a strong possibility, but only time will tell.

Author Bio:Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants with services like an electronic cigarette merchant account. His passions include producing music and traveling.