While intended to help smokers fight addiction, e-cigarettes have an undeniable appeal to youth and first time smokers. It does not solve the problem of cigarette addiction. E-cigarettes are dangerous due to their appeal, how addictive they themselves can be, and the content within them. For these reasons, the use of electronic cigarette products should be banned.

The overall use of these items has increased dramatically in a short time within recent years. As of 2018, nearly 1 in 5 high school students, and 1 in 20 middle school students reported that they have used electronic cigarettes. In 2017, 2.1 million high school students used these products, a year later the number rose to 3.6 million.

But as of Sept. 17, there has now been seven deaths and at least 38 health issues within 36 states caused by vaping related product use. These products are common amongst internet culture and they only continue to rise in popularity. The projected population of vapers is predicted to rise to 55 million by 2021. Electronic cigarettes have the potential to do serious damage to both smokers and non-smokers and that potential only rises as the population consuming these products also grows.

JUUL, which is one of the leading brands of these products, was created with the intention to stop or lower the consumption of cigarettes.

JUUL Labs was founded by former smokers, James and Adam, with the goal of improving the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes,” states the mission statement found on JUUL’s website. “We envision a world where fewer people use cigarettes, and where people who smoke cigarettes have the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely, should they so desire.”

This declaration does not address the heart of the problem: nicotine addiction, which has been present for decades. This product simply replaces one addiction with another. A single pod offers around 200 puffs and contains just as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. All this product has done is flavor and condense the harm of smoking which makes it much more appealing to newcomers; a hearty puff of tobacco is much easier to down when it tastes like mangos and bubblegum.

Smokers who are in the midst of trying to quit are concerned that this tool is being taken away from them, but this is a dangerous alternative. This tool is not an FDA approved form of therapy such as nicotine patches or gum. It also is not always effective. Smokers who switched to these products to quit have claimed that their problems did not only go unsolved, but actually got worse as they became far more addicted to this product, and went back to the original to stop the addiction to the electronic product.

JUUL has claimed that the use of their pods is not meant to treat nicotine addiction, but cigarette addiction. How does one break their dependency on cigarettes which is fueled by the reliance on nicotine, when their form of therapy is better tasting nicotine?

The implementation of electronic cigarettes has done drastic damage to multiple populations. Smokers, curious first time smokers, and youth alike have been harmed by this invention. It is not a useful tool to help those in need but rather it creates another cycle of addiction. These pods filled with mint and cotton candy have given a new face to the next rapidly growing generation of smokers.

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