Teen Smoking: Vaporizing E-Cigarette Myth
The word “vape” sounds healthy and light. That’s the “clever marketing” behind its use by leading e-cigarette company JUUL Labs and other manufacturers. They want you to believe vaping, which heats liquid nicotine versus burning tobacco, is nothing like smoking cigarettes.
Teens are heavily targeted by advertising. JUUL pods, or e-liquid cartridges, also come in fun flavors like mango, creme and cucumber. Making it no wonder why middle and high school students don’t always understand the risks.
Eighteen-year-old Adam Hergenreder is one of those teens. He says that he has lungs “like a 70-year-old” from vaping. He has filed a lawsuit accusing JUUL of marketing e-cigarettes to young people.1 His claims include that the company did not disclose that their products contain dangerous chemicals.
Hergenreder is not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 66 percent of teens say e-cigarettes contain just flavoring.2 Only 13 percent of teens say they contain nicotine. Nearly 14 percent don’t even know what’s in e-cigarettes.
Medical experts and U.S. regulators are now working to bust the myths around e-cigarettes for good. The Surgeon General warns that e-cigarettes are an epidemic among youth.3 The White House is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes except tobacco flavor.4
And the Food and Drug Administration recently sent a warning letter to JUUL for illegally marketing their product as less harmful than smoking cigarettes.5 The company is being required to correct the violation.
If you visit JUUL’s website today, the company has a prominent warning at the top of each page. It says their products contain the “addictive chemical” nicotine.
But ask yourself, how many teens are going to JUUL’s site? The reality is that they’re much more likely to come across e-cigarette ads on TV and social media6 – and even hear about it from their friends or see #JUUL trending on Twitter.
1- Duncan, Conrad. “Teenager Sues Vaping Company Juul after being left with ‘lungs like a 70-year-old’s.” Independent.co.uk. Visited 15 October 2019.
2 – Teens and e-cigarettes. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Visited 15 October 2019.
4 – Oval Office. “Remarks by President Trump in Meeting on E-Cigarettes. “ WhiteHouse.gov. Visited 15 October 2019.
5 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Warning Letter, Juul Labs. September 2019. FDA.gov. Visited 15 October 2019.
6 – Andrews, Michelle. “Cigarettes Can’t Be Advertised on TV. Should Juul Ads be Permitted?” Npr.org. Visited 15 October 2019.