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How Vaping Became a Threat

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on October 31, 2019 23:50

0 user

In a nutshell: False Advertisement.

With 1,888 people ill and 37 dead, vaping has become a subject of immense national concern. Nicotine, the main substance in vapes, is as addictive as heroin and injures both the respiratory system and brain development. People also vape other harmful chemicals, such as THC.

What's particularly concerning is the amount of minors who use these electronic cigarettes. 42.5% of high school seniors report having tried vaping during their lifetimes. Over half of teenagers say that e-cigarettes can be acquired “easily,” despite nicotine products being illegal to those below the age of 18.

Several states have already banned flavored e-cigarettes. Others are in the process of passing legislation. However, this paves the way for black markets and is not likely to actually teach people why vaping is bad for them. 

Vaping’s popularity can be largely attributed to its misleading marketing. E-cigarettes have been packaged as the safe alternative to smoking cigarettes and other illicit substances. 

One example is this ad produced by JUUL, an electronic cigarette company. Featuring a hip model against bright colors, the poster does not look like it’s advertising anything remotely harmful. Instead, vaping is portrayed as fun and cool. The ad is clearly geared towards young consumers, many of whom are underage.

Even the product itself does not seem dangerous at first glance. Nicotine vapor smells like benign substances such as mango and mint, sharply contrasting with the pungent odor of cigarette smoke. It is common for teens to record themselves exhaling the puffy clouds, later posting these videos on social media. These clips go viral and garner millions of views.

Unfortunately, few know the dark side of e-cigarettes. Last year, Big Tobacco company Altria Group purchased 35% of JUUL. The CEO of JUUL is a former Altria executive. Evidently, vaping is Big Tobacco’s latest attempt to exploit the American people. 

Advancements on the policy level are imperative to keep the public safe. However, legal developments must be accompanied by educational ones. People must be fully informed and genuinely incentivized to stop vaping. Only then will progress occur. 

 

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on October 31, 2019 23:50

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Source: Engadget

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