The Rise Of E-Cigarette

Emma Johnson, Courier Staff

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As technology develops, and the awareness of negative cigarette health effects spread, e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular.

According to USA Today, the FDA has declared vaping an epidemic among youths. Companies like Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic 60 make up more than 97 percent of the U.S. market for e-cigarettes.

Because of the large growth in e-cigarette use, the FDA has become concerned with how easy it is for kids to have access to e-cigarettes. The FDA feels they need to take action due to middle and high schoolers becoming regular users.

In the past, these five large companies have been exempt from many regular tobacco regulations. The FDA is reversing that as well as have written more than 1,300 retailers with letters warning them of penalties if they sell to minors. According to an article in USA Today, from those letters, 131 retailers have already had to pay penalties. In my opinion, the most dramatic regulation they should enforce is the banning of flavored e-cigarette liquid.

The e-cigarette liquid is the juice used that you smoke out of any of the vaping devices. Although I personally am not an e-cigarette user, I can see many benefits to the liquid being flavored. E-cigarettes were originally created as a way to help people quit or lessen their smoking. With the vape juices being flavored, I would think it would make smoking them more enjoyable. It would also make it more fun to smoke them considering the wide range of flavors you can try. If the FDA bans flavored e-cigarette liquid, then it is likely many cigarette smokers would just stay with cigarettes instead of moving to the less harmful vape liquid.

I understand that the flavored liquids may be a large part of why minors are drawn to e-cigarette use; however, it could also be a large foot in the door for helping adults quit. Like I mentioned before, I am not an e-cigarette user, but I don’t believe that removing the flavors would be completely beneficial.

I think enforcing regulations on selling to minors, as well as making parents aware of teen vaping will be beneficial. All of the major e-cigarette companies are responding to this movement from the FDA in a very positive manner. They have agreed to enforce tougher regulations and have even done their own personal actions to try to help reduce the use of e-cigarettes in minors. These actions range from creating commercials aimed at informing parents of teen vaping, to even partnering with campaigns like tobacco-free kids. The FDA, as well as the major e-cigarette companies, hopes that these actions will help deter minors from using e-cigarettes.

I think vaping can be a good tool for people trying to slowly break their nicotine habit; however, ensuring kids can’t get their hands on e-cigarettes is even more important. I am glad to see the FDA making changes to protect kids from e-cigarettes but I also hope it can continue to help adults break their own addictions.

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