The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School

It takes your breath away

Because of the trending popularity among teens, the FDA announced they would intensify the crackdown on e-cigs. After studies that show the percentages of teen users are at an all time high, they are demanding a new plan to stop the vaping epidemics.

The FDA is requiring five major vape companies, including Juul, Blu Electronic, and British American tobacco, to address the problem with youth using their products or they can be forced to stop selling flavored tobacco products. These companies marketed fun, flavored juices in order to appeal to a younger crowd. Yet, these fruity juices are filled with harmful chemicals such as diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-pentanedione that cause respiratory problems and a condition known as Bronchiolitis obliterans. Thus, the FDA is considering banning the sales of vape liquids with candy and fruity flavors.

Another concern is the smoking of concentrated marijuana that is used as a wax. Since it is so easy and discreet, many kids are trying recreational marijuana. A study done by Jama Pediatrics found that every one in eleven high schoolers have used marijuana in electronic cigarette. When kids vape marijuana, they are using it at a very powerful form, sometimes it is as powerful as 4 to thirty times that of dried marijuana.  

¨More kids are using marijuana now because, with vaporizers, no one can smell it after,” said Kameron Kohler, a junior.

According to Market Watch, since 2017, teenage usage of vapes has increased to more than 75%. Scott Gottlieb, the food and drug administration chief, is passionate about getting electronic cigarettes and other harmful products out of teens hands. Gottlieb plans to crack down on vapes, but still wants to provide a safer alternative to smoking for adults. This means vapes most likely will not be out right banned, but actions will take place to help keep kids from having these products.

“A lot of people use vapes to quit smoking cigarettes, and vaping is still bad, but for people who smoke cigarettes, it’s way healthier. Kids wouldn’t be so attracted to it if they didn’t sell flavors that only a child would want,” said Meghan Albright, a junior.

The FDA is giving vapor companies sixty days to show how they are preventing youth vaping. If the plans are not given, the company’s sales can be halted until further notice. With so many studies coming out showing more and more teens becoming regular users, these companies can be in some big trouble.  

“No one can look at the data and say there’s no problem,” said Gottlieb.

Juul has already started making changes in compliance to the FDA. Now, they require an age verified signature on delivery, and have made changes to protect stores from distributing vapes to kids under eighteen.

For many this isn’t enough. A lot of seniors turn eighteen in high school, which makes it easy to get a friend go buy the product.

“With so many high schoolers buying vapes, you don’t need to be eighteen to get what you want,” said Kohler.

Because there are now so many teens addicted to nicotine, banning vapes could backfire. With no vaporizers, cigarettes and chewing tobacco could become a problem for not only teens, but adults who use vapes. Though vaping has shown to be harmful, it is still a lot healthier than other tobacco products.  

”I do not know if kids will switch to cigarettes, but there is a good chance that something new will come out that will keep the nicotine trend among teens alive,¨ said Brad Penner, School Resource Officer.

For years, kids have used products not intended for their age. But vaping has been the fastest product to become popular with smokers.

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