About a month and a half after the vaping crisis emerged into the mainstream consciousness, the consequences are undoubtedly tragic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has confirmed 34 vaping-related deaths across over 1,600 illnesses. Yet the biggest concern for anti-vaping advocates is the rise of teen vaping.
For those who have combated illegal underage activities, their recent victories against combustible cigarette smoking are Pyrrhic ones. Yes, smoking rates among underage users have consistently fallen since the 1990s. Under ordinary circumstances, that would be considered a massive coup d’état. However, teen vaping statistics have skyrocketed, making their efforts null.
Therefore, when the vaping crisis initially gained momentum, anti-smoking advocates jumped on board, intending to associate smoking with vaping. To the public, both practices appear very similar, with the only difference being the platform.
As expected, politicians – who are entering a critical election cycle – also pushed hard against the vaping industry. Billed as an effort to stop teen vaping – after all, what animal wouldn’t want to protect children? – lawmakers from across the spectrum banded together to forward and impose various vaping bans.
But like any government oversight, unintended consequences quickly unraveled. Ironically, the very bans that were meant to prevent teen vaping has only accelerated an old habit: cigarette smoking.
Teen Vaping Bans Devolve into Smoking Acceleration
The one thing the government is excellent at, though, is fear mongering. Amid the not-so-subtle messages that vaporizers and e-cigarettes ae inherently dangerous, many vape users have turned to cigarettes.
Here’s the crazy part about this transition: people would rather use something that will definitely kill them over a longer time frame than use a product that has been proven safe but under strict use guidelines. That’s the real of imposed government-think!
And this is really a sad turn of events. At the heart of the vaping crisis is the Juul vaporizer. Known for their extremely high nicotine content, nicotine addiction happens quickly for end-users. To help ween off nicotine addiction gradually, vape makers offer attractive e-liquid flavors that sate the palate but offer decreasing levels of nicotine content.
But with the proposed federal ban on flavored vapes, the government is giving users no options. You see, tobacco is a raw and earthy tone that doesn’t appeal to many, if not most people. Therefore, Juul users aren’t incentivized to quit the habit using declining nicotine content therapy without flavored e-liquids masking tobacco’s taste.
Ultimately, we have another sad case of government intervention gone wrong. Certainly, it won’t be the last time.