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Re: “We Still Don’t Know How Safe Vaping Is” published Sept. 5, 2019
New York Times’ Editorial Board’s recent post on vaping argues against the use of e-cigarettes due to how little we know of them. There has been an outbreak of a vape-related illness that has only recently been discovered, and because of this, we have yet to find a cure. Due to how little we know of vaping products, the editor proclaims it must have something to do with the long-term effects of chemicals found in regular e-cigarettes. However, the editor also states that e-cigarettes have been around for longer than a decade, so how has this illness affected mostly teenagers and only very few adults? If the long-term effects of vaping were the cause of this illness, adults who have used vapes for many years as an alternative to smoking regular cigarettes would be the sickness’s main target.
400+ known cases of the illness due to vaping are known, and 3 deaths have been claimed. Many diagnosed have been young adults. As a teenager who worries about her fellow peers who could be at risk, I find it extremely important that we should look further into what is occurring, but it should be noted that what the editor failed to expand on was the marijuana based ingredients found in vapes of those who had fallen ill. Studies have shown that 36% of those who had fallen ill admitted to using only THC when vaping. 46% used both THC and nicotine, and only 17% stated to supposedly only be using nicotine. Many of those who were found ill were also found within states that criminalized the use of marijuana. This increases the chances that the products that have been used by those who have fallen ill were bought from places similar to or from the black market. Products in places as such are possibly homemade and can be considered to be extremely dangerous. It is the most likely cause of the illness.
I agree that there is still much we should learn about e-cigarettes, but the ingredients in normal vape cigarettes are not the cause of the illness. A ban on flavored e-cigarettes is extremely dangerous and should not be an “understandable” action towards fighting this epidemic. This increases the likelihood of many more turning towards the black market to obtain their products and can lead many others who used vapes as an alternative to smoking cigarettes to go back to cigarettes, a product that continues to take the lives of thousands each year.