Vaping danger prompts government bans

by Eric Bernhagen/eribern22@pceagles.org

Vaping was introduced as a less harmful choice for smokers, but it may soon be exposed as being more toxic than a cigarette. According to Fox News, 26 people have died in the US from vaping-related diseases. The Washington Post wrote that there have been 1,299 cases of illnesses having to do with vaping.

According to the ABC News website, THC devices, which contain a chemical found in cannabis, are the primary cause for the vaping related lung illness, now known as EVALI. But the illness has also occurred in people who only used nicotine devices. The government is responding to the vaping dilemma by setting out to ban flavored vape products and maybe even all THC vapes. JUUL has responded by suspending their sales of all fruit flavors.

The underlying problem of e-cigarette use is the age group using them. Even though e-cigarettes were meant to be a way that smokers could get off of tobacco, countless youth in America have taken up the popular practice of vaping. Vaping companies, such as JUUL, have advertised in a way that showed their vape products being used by younger people. Flavors such as mango or strawberry watermelon provide seemingly kid-friendly options. 

According to a recent survey, more than 91% of PC students have never vaped or only tried it once, while 4% said they vape several times per week. The other 5% of students occasionally vape. The students’ views on whether vape flavors should be banned were fairly evenly distributed with 38% saying they should be banned, 27% opposing the ban and 28% who were undecided. Many students feel that youth vape because it is cool, it numbs the pain, their friends do it, and it is a way to be rebellious. “They think it’s hip and cool. Also, it’s mango flavored. I bet at least one person would want mango cigarettes,” said one student.

Already, many states have started restricting sales on flavored e-cigarettes. According to USA Today, Montana has put a 120-day ban on all vaping flavors. “E-cigarettes are a growing epidemic causing harm among today’s teens,” says the USA TODAY website. 

The question is, are the problems inflicted by vaping dire enough for the government to ban products? More than a third of the students at PC believe they are. “I think they should be banned because there is nothing known about what happens when people vape,” said one student. The problem is that there hasn’t been enough research done. There should not be a product known to be harmful that is sold in the US.

Many people are against vape flavors being banned. “Vaping is harmful, that is no secret. Despite this, it is not the government’s job to prevent me from doing stupid stuff: that’s my job,” said another student. “Allowing the government to ban things is a slippery slope, and next thing you know we won’t have the freedom of speech.” The US has a big decision to deal with, one that many people disagree on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *