You’re at a party; you take a look around, and everyone you see is holding an electronic cigarette of some sort. It seems to be the trend among college students, but maybe not for long.
The Trump Administration is currently in the process of banning flavored e-cigarettes after hundreds of people have fallen mysteriously ill from lung diseases over the past few weeks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 380 lung illnesses have been reported from 36 different states in the U.S. and seven people have died since August. The cause of these illnesses is still unknown, but all reported cases had a history of using vape pens.
The Food and Drug Administration is working alongside the Trump Administration to remove flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine pods from the market within the next 30 days. Tobacco flavors, however, will still be available for adults who may be using e-cigarettes to stop smoking. The hope is that by removing the accessibility of flavored nicotine products, the number of teenagers using the devices will lower.
JUUL, which launched in 2015, has gained massive popularity among the college community and is now the leading brand for e-cigarettes. “JUULing” has become a trend known as “vape culture,” and many young adults who have never smoked cigarettes or used any product containing nicotine have purchased and/or used a JUUL to fit in with their peers. JUUL has faced massive backlash for falsely advertising that its products are safe and of reduced risk, as well as advertising directly to minors.
Vape mods and other vape pens are also widely used among college students. Many people prefer these devices over JUULs because of the wider variety of flavors and the ability to reduce the level of nicotine. Nonetheless, these products may no longer be available pending approval of the FDA ban.
The discussion of a vape ban is generating a lot of talk on social media, much of it being from people who believe the United States has more pressing issues to focus on.
The hashtag #ivapeivote is being used by many people to express their outrage on the vaping ban. Many are adults saying they use flavored e-cigarettes to quit smoking and that vaping actually saved their lives.
Regardless of all the chatter on social media, the FDA and the Trump Administration are working on the ban, which could take weeks to complete, and the end of vape culture may be in sight.
Edited by Sydney Keener