Trump Administration Wages War on E-Cigarettes

On Sept. 11, President Trump said that he will be taking action against the growing use of vaping devices that are advertised as a healthier alternative to Big Tobacco. Most notable is the Juul pod, advertised for its concealability and large array of flavors that appeal to today’s youth. What was once manufactured as an aid to help those quit smoking is now an epidemic that keeps spreading to younger and younger ages.

 

 

Athough the sale of tobacco products has been decreasing, the sale of Juuls and other vaping products have seen an exponential impact since 2015. This is mainly due to advertising to young children combined with pop culture and social media popularizing the product and selling it as a safe alternative to obtaining that nicotine buzz. Essentially, a cigarette without the tar and other harsh chemicals.

Schools have been quick to notice an increase in this issue. Bathrooms are now designated “Juul Rooms,” where students hang out to take a hit of a friend’s device. Everywhere on campus, students have these USB-resembling devices between their fingers, taking hits of it on the bus or in the learning centers. The feasibility of this object has spread all over campus.

What was once known as the opioid epidemic has now evolved into the juul epidemic. Tobacco 21 compares this issue to the addiction of painkillers. They state that juuls are the beginning of the addiction system, much like oxycodone might be the beginning to a heroin addiction, and that heroin users don’t revert to oxycodone once they start using “the good stuff.” “[Smokers] smoke when they can, and vape when they must.”

Trump has shed light on this topic, readying a ban of e-cigarettes during the vaping-related deaths that sparked the news in the past couple of weeks. Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, states that the “Trump Administration is making it clear that [they] intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities.”

Others are concerned with this potential ban. While some worry about their store sales, others fear that they may have to resort back to cigarettes during withdrawal periods.

However, all e-cigarette users don’t have to worry—as long as they are over the age of 18. Juul has since pulled their products from retail stores last year. The Trump Administration intends to keep e-cigarettes on the market to help those quit smoking, but will instead focus their attention to preventing companies from targeting minors.

States such as Michigan and New York are already moving to ban these products. CNN promised to stop running Juul commercials and ads. More attention is being called to this epidemic as the death toll increases. 

Many people are in favor of the ban:

 

 

While others bring the issue back to the administration’s lack of action towards larger issues, such as gun violence or biased journalism:

 

 

Any vaping product that contains nicotine is known to inflame the lungs and have adverse affects on the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Not only can products get kids hooked on a nicotine addiction, they can effect their development, giving them reactions such as nosebleeds, trouble breathing, and sore/dry mouths.

What are your thoughts on the Trump Administration and their war against Juuls?

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash