Editorial Draft- smellycat

Vaping Takes Control of Teens

The teen vaping epidemic persists. The government, media, and schools must do a better job in educating the young malleable minds of teenagers. This year the rate of teen e-cigarette users more than doubled since 2017, according to the University of Michigan. The University gathered research on how much high school students used nicotine over different time periods. In 2017, 8% of 10th graders used nicotine in the last month. In 2019, that number almost tripled at 20% using nicotine.

When the nicotine issue was addressed to the secretary of health and human professions in the White House, Alex Azar II, called for an insufficient proposition. He claimed he will draft a ban on most flavored e-cigarettes like mint and menthol. Dr. Sharon Levy is mistaken to believe the flavor ban is effective because what will stop teens from using other flavors? Teens aren’t addicted to the taste of e-cigarettes, but the nicotine in them. Companies will just figure out a way around the ban too.

The campaigns against vaping for teens have all failed by government agencies, the vaping industry, and schools, which isn’t a surprise. Teenagers will not stop vaping until it is drilled into their brain that vaping is bad for them and there is living proof. Many teens believe that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes. While there are less chemicals and the amounts are lower in e-cigarettes, there is still cause for concern. E-cigarettes contain carcinogens such as benzene that cause health risks. Also, e-cigarette companies don’t fully disclose their ingredients either leading to more chemicals and nicotine being ingested.

There are already commercials educating teens on the damaging effects of juuling but it’s not enough. Truth TV does an excellent job communicating that one juul pod is equal to 20 cigarettes of nicotine. This is a scary and influential fact, however we need more exposure to save our teenagers. We need the heart wrenching “juuling killed my dad” commercials to persuade kids that it’s dangerous.

The known effects of cigarettes and the exposure teens received in the classroom, on commercials, billboards, and just being around smokers influenced teens not to smoke cigarettes. In 2018, 8.1% of high school students smoked a cigarette, however; 20.8% used e-cigarettes that same year. Without legitimate facts that vaping is damaging the body, the campaign to stop e-cigarette use among minors is inadequate and will not succeed.

Strict laws will reduce the number of teen smokers. The University of Southern California discovered that in areas where retail stores containing tobacco products were more strictly policed, teens were a third less likely to try cigarettes or e-cigarettes compared to areas where the law was being neglected. There is more hope to save teens if the laws were just enforced.

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7 Responses to Editorial Draft- smellycat

  1. davidbdale says:

    One reason your Editorial feels “not opinionated enough” is that you don’t clearly identify a problem in your introductions, smellycat. An “epidemic” is only a problem if the behavior is a problem. (If there’s an epidemic of sugar-free chocolate consumption, nobody writes an editorial about it. See what I mean?) Instead of helping readers understand what’s so bad about teen vaping, you devote your intro to telling us how many kids are vaping. We might need to be told, in a clause, how addictive nicotine is. But is nicotine dangerous? Does it kill or sicken? Or does it just addict? If so, what’s the problem? SOMETHING must be dangerous about vaping, but you don’t tell us what.

    Your second paragraph shifts the focus to flavors. You object to the insufficient response to a problem we’re not sure we have. But you’re getting at something. Kids start out attracted to bubblegum vape, but they’ll switch to mint if bubblegum is banned . . . only AFTER they’re addicted. The question you don’t address is whether they would have started AT ALL if only mint, or only cocoa flavor had been available.

    Your claim that teens are sneaky and rebellious creates a new problem for you. Maybe the flavor wasn’t the attraction in the first place. They just wanted to vape because they weren’t supposed to. [What’s a NON-NICOTINE flavor? The question is crucial since you’ve placed such a premium on the importance of nicotine to your argument. If there ARE non-nicotine flavors, would you still have a problem? Or is there still something dangerous about vaping that has nothing to do with nicotine? Your reader is asking all these questions because you haven’t been clear on what you consider to be the REAL danger.]

    Your “The campaigns” paragraph creates a new challenge for you. The “government campaign” has been late to the game and limited to blaming the industry for the problem. The “vaping industry” has NO CAMPAIGN to limit teen use—their entire marketing plan has been to addict new users as young as possible. I don’t know what schools have done besides attempting to prohibit vaping on the premises.

    At last you name the dangers that should be early and foremost in your essay to prove the urgency while we’re still paying attention. But the evidence you offer of the dangers of “unknown ingredients” will probably not deter a single teen either.

    Dr. Pirzada’s anecdotal evidence is useful, but you don’t disclose whether her patients used branded products or “bootlegs” filled by sneaky teens. 🙂

    Clarity and precision are really important, smellycat. Here you continue to blur whether nicotine is ITSELF carcinogenic:

    There needs to be commercials and banners hung that say E-cigarettes contain carcinogens. Truth TV does an excellent job communicating that one juul pod is equal to 20 cigarettes of nicotine. This is a scary and influential fact,

    You’ve set yourself a difficult challenge, smellycat. You KNOW how hard it is to scare teens. You’re smart to use the Prevention Tips campaign as a model, but did it ever “inspire 100 TEEN smokers” to quit? Or did it help adults finally break with a decades-long habit? [And how did they quit cigarettes? By transitioning to vape?]

    I’m really on your side here, Cat, and very sympathetic to the difficulty you’re facing. My personal opinion is that the government, the media, public health agencies can never effectively combat “cool.” Vaping has to be made to appear lame. Cigarettes are now lame. That happened when a “technological device” came along to replace them. [And as long as vape contains nicotine, keeping teens from ever STARTING is the best way to keep them from danger.]

    You say yourself:

    Without legitimate facts that vaping is damaging the body, the campaign to stop e-cigarette use among minors is inadequate and will not succeed.

    But you haven’t resolved that difficulty because you haven’t provided that terrifying evidence yourself.

    At the last minute, you try another argument about strict enforcement, and it still blurs the distinction between tobacco and vape, claiming to limit the use of both. I’ve never heard of kids buying fake cigarettes, but strict enforcement of vaping sales at retail stores won’t limit the trade in bootleg refilled vape cartridges.

    Was any of that helpful, SmellyCat?

    My overall answer to your own observation is that YES, your editorial does seem long and “researchey.” The simplest solution is to streamline your argument and “suggest” your research.
    1. Vape is killing our kids.
    2. Most are dying or being sickened by bootleg vape.
    3. But we’re also creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.
    4. Vape companies told us their product was a “quit smoking aid.”
    5. But their marketing suggests they were attracting kids with ads that made vaping cool.
    6. So for every tobacco user who quits cigarettes, we create a new nicotine addict.
    7. If there’s an advertising genius who knows how to make something UNCOOL, please step forward.
    8. We’ve already shamed the vape makers into ending their youth outreach marketing.
    9. But they bear the burden of MAKING SURE THEY convince teens that their products are sickening, stupid, and deadly.

    Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. davidbdale says:

    It shows up now, smellycat, because it’s been added to the Feedback Please category. And you’ve asked a specific question, which improves your place in the Feedback queue. I’ll get to yours next.


  3. roses0102 says:

    I enjoyed reading this for many reasons including the passion in your writing. For the revisions, the first paragraph, make your claim more clear. You did refer to this as an “epidemic”, but that is the only indicating word I see here. Add more compelling words to make your argument more clear and powerful.
    The other piece of feedback I have is to include the other perspective on caping and how some people believe it is still safe. This will provide the reader something intriguing to read and also provide support to your argument.


  4. roses0102 says:

    I’ll be back to peer review this one


  5. smellycat23 says:

    Can I have feedback when you get a chance? I feel like my editorial is too long and very research based and not opinionated enough.


    • smellycat23 says:

      Hi Mr. Hodges, I did not see my username when you brought up the list of people who asked for feedback so I’m reaching out again and asking for feedback please


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