Vaping has grown over the past couple years and is advertised as a way to wean yourself off of cigarettes. Unfortunately, the majority of people who vape were never addicted to cigarettes in the first place and are now addicted to the nicotine in vape pens.
Last week, a 17 year old boy from the Bronx passed away and is the youngest person to pass away from a lung related issue due to vaping. Hearing this on the news wasn’t surprising as it’s the 24th death related with vaping in the US. It wasn’t surprising, but it was upsetting.
This map by The New York Times shows where and how many deaths have occurred.
What harm do they cause?
E-cigarettes have only been around less then a decade so the research done on them is limited. What we do know is that “inhaling the two primary ingredients found in e-cigarettes—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—is likely to expose users to a high level of toxins and that the more ingredients a user is inhaling, the greater the toxicity”, according to The American Lung Institute.
These numbers are alarming, especially since you or someone you know probably vapes. Vaping is a trend among teens and companies like Juul are being accused of marketing towards that age group.
Juul produces fruity flavored products wrapped in colorful candy-looking packaging. According to The National Law Review’s article by Katy Moncivais, “By analyzing Juul’s website, social media platforms, hashtags, andcustomer campaign emails, the researchers concluded that, “Juul’s advertising imagery in its first [six] months on the market was patently youth oriented.”
According to this New York Times article by Ed Shanahan and Azi Paybarah Some of the people affected by the products have filed suits against companies like Juul for things like targeted advertising toward youth and making the device small enough to hide from parents.
What can we do to fix this crisis?
Spread the word and if you or someone you know vapes or is addicted, inform them on whats going on. Most likely they will already know. In that case, I would try to offer them professional help to quit. Although vapes have been advertised as harmless, it’s being proven that they are not harmless and can actually cause life threatening illnesses.