Vaping has been a hot topic in the news recently due to the rise of stories of vape users developing lung diseases and even a few deaths. As of Oct. 9, two deaths related to e-cigarettes were announced within 24 hours of each other in New York and Utah, according to NewsWeek. President Trump proposed a ban on some vaping products earlier in September, but the legislation is currently stalled.
The vaping and e-cigarette products have grown in popularity over the past decade as the products were introduced to the public as a safe alternative to traditional tobacco smoking.
With the initial release to the United States in 2007, the flavored vaping products began flooding the market. The products, which were legal for purchase at the age of 18, began to attract a larger crowd, as traditional cigarette smokers believed it was safer and non-smokers began to purchase the appealing products as well.
In 2017, a new e-cigarette product, Juul, was released to the United States. With its pods available in various flavors such as mango and cucumber, they quickly became one of the biggest trends on the market. However, the dangers of these products weren’t widely known until last year and this year. As of June of this year, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported at least eight deaths and approximately 530 lung illnesses related to vaping.
We, the editorial staff of The East Carolinian, appreciate the recent media coverage of the dangers of vape and e-cigarette smoking as many students at ECU use these products and could potentially be at risk of developing these diseases. However, we believe that a ban on only certain vape products as opposed to all products, as well as no official ban on all tobacco products, will prove to be ineffective in the efforts to prevent vape illnesses and deaths.
Cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products, which the CDC reports are the cause of roughly 480,000 deaths per year, are still readily available for purchase for those age 18 and over, which consists of the age group of most college students. Although they may not be as popular as vape products among our age group, they still serve as a threat on our health just as vape products do.
We are hoping that the awareness of the dangers of vape and e-cigarette products will serve to persuade those who use them to educate themselves on the detrimental effects they can have. However, a potential ban on only certain vape products and no ban on all tobacco products may be ineffective in the end.