Pressure Increases on Vaping Companies After Recent Deaths

JUUL Vaping Investigation

JUUL is in danger of being fined after the US Food and Drug administration sent a warning letter to the company on Monday addressing the company’s marketing tactics.

The company, who is currently the leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes, markets their product as a safer alternative to smoking, a claim that when made without evidence that violates federal law.

JUUL has been under prior investigation due to their teenage target audience.

The crackdown continues as on Wednesday the Trump Administration called for a ban on all fruity and minty e-cigarette flavors.

The FDA requested scientific data to back up the claims Juuls are less harmful than other tobacco products.

The law requires that any tobacco product marketed as being lower-risk must be backed up with scientific evidence, but Juul has yet to comply with this law and continues to label their product as “99% safer than cigarettes.”

The rise in underage e-cigarette use is also a growing concern.

Last fall, the National Youth Tobacco Survey revealed that from 2017 to 2018, vaping in high schoolers increased by nearly 80 percent and vaping in middle schoolers increased by nearly 50 percent.

The total number of underage e-cigarette users in the US is 3.6 million, that’s 1 in 5 high schoolers.

During this time period, the use of flavored e-cigarettes increased as well.

The Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan launched in November of 2018 cracked down on the tobacco products that seemed marketed to youth through food flavors and imagery, and the FDA has consistently warned of the dangers of flavored e-cigarettes, but this week things escalated.

If the Trump administration’s proposed ban on e-cigarette and vape juice flavors is enforced, it would be detrimental to JUUL as 80% of its sales come from flavored pods.

Around 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking underage, and similarly the earlier a person starts vaping the more likely they are to be an adult smoker.

Underage exposure to nicotine means a higher risk of addiction and mental health problems.

“While ENDS products appear to hold some promise in helping addicted adult smokers transition away from combustible tobacco to a potentially less harmful form of nicotine delivery, these products are not safe, and we cannot allow the next generation of young people to become addicted to nicotine,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless.

The truth is that no one knows the long-term effects of these products, they simply haven’t been around long enough.

Sharpless explained that the FDA doesn’t even know if some e-cigarettes are even less harmful then combustible cigarettes- they could be just as harmful.

The great dilemma is this: is it worth continuing to allow the manufacturing of a product that could potentially be helpful in the cessation of smoking for addicted smokers, but is absolutely detrimental to a population of youth and young adults who may never have been introduced in the first place (or at least, not introduced so early on)?

Does the risk outweigh the benefit? Are they helping or hurting?

On top of this question that the FDA has been grappling with since the advent of e-cigarette’s is a new concern that made headlines last week: are e-cigarettes deadly?

There have been six confirmed vaping related deaths across six states, and the CDC reported 380 cases across 36 states of vaping induced severe lung disease resulting in hospitalization.

However, the public’s panic over possible Juuling related deaths can be put to rest for now.

A majority of the cases that the CDC investigated involved e-cigarettes with THC, as cannabis vape products contain a high percentage of the dangerous chemical vitamin E acetate.

Although many who became ill reported vaping nicotine products with and without THC oil, Juul has not been implicated in any of the deaths or hospitalization cases.

Little information has been released on the health and history of those who died from vaping related illness.

The CDC is now focusing their investigation on vape products that contain the deadly chemical vitamin e acetate, most commonly found in illegally purchased THC oil used in cannabis-based vape products.

In the meantime, the FDA and CDC are urging e-cigarette users to avoid vaping in any form.

For the many unknowns concerning e-cigarettes and the recent vaping-related hospitalizations and deaths, here is a fact: in the U.S., tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease and death.

Prolonged tobacco and nicotine use in any form for any person is deadly.

If you or someone you know vapes and is experiencing symptoms such as cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, fever, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting please see a doctor immediately.

If you or someone you know is buying weed pens off the internet- stop doing that.