It Won’t be Easy, But the Vape Epidemic Can Be Solved
Vaping is making people sick, and no one seems to know why just yet. More and more people are going to become sick and simply banning the products is not going to solve the issue at hand. The FDA has taken an approach to the issue by standing back and keeping their hands clean. They have failed to intervene and allowed the industry to grow over the past ten years. Many anti-vaping activists are calling for a complete ban to vaping products as a whole, which would not accomplish much for the users whop are already addicted to nicotine.
The ban of vape products would not stop the demand for these products from the current users. Many users have developed a nicotine addiction which would not just go away with a ban put into place. This would lead people to turn to the obtaining the products illegally and on the black market. When the United States went through the prohibition of alcohol, those who wanted to drink still drank. They just had to turn to an illegal method of consumption. If they decide to take the legal route to get their nicotine fix, they will likely turn to cigarettes or tobacco dip. These are known to cause cancer and be extremely detrimental to one’s health. This would put the United States two steps backwards because these products were made to help people move away from cigarettes and other harmful nicotine consumption methods. A ban would be counterintuitive for the already addicted users, but could serve to help new users from engaging in vaping. TheTruth.com has taken a stand against vaping and has run numerous ad campaigns to shed light on the harmful effects of vaping. They reach the younger viewers through TikTok, a new social media video platform, with the use of a rap song and music video explaining the detriments of the products. This resonates with the younger generation of potential vapers and helps to keep them off of a nicotine addiction.
Many laws are in place to combat tobacco use like heavy taxes and restrictions of advertisements for big tobacco companies. A number of states are already taxing the vape companies, but it should be above the state level. Federal taxes should be put into place to better regulate the products themselves. This would help the vape companies do not advertise to the youth like they do now with their fruity flavored products. Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes should be treated the same throughout all regulations.
There is certainly not an easy fix to the vape crisis, but it can be done. Countries like Britain have seemed to solve the vaping epidemic. Halpern-Felsher, an adolescent and young adult developmental psychologist, said “In the UK, first of all, they are not allowing advertisements in the same way and so you don’t get advertisements to young people.” This means that the products are not being exposed to young children and teens by censoring where ads can and cannot be placed. In fact, Britain decided to completely ban the use of attractive bright colors on all vaping products to deter the younger users. Not only did they restrict packaging, but they restricted the devices themselves. The vapes can only hold a certain amount of vape liquid/juice which helps to lessen the use of the products. Also, the nicotine levels are restricted in these products along with the amount of liquid bought at once. The Juul, a type and brand of vape, has the same amount of nicotine per pod as two packs of cigarettes. This product is available in the United States but is banned in the UK. These measures have helped to solve the problem. The United States needs to follow in the footsteps of the British when it comes to the issue of vaping.