Tech at Large Topic of the Week

The house of vapes is on fire

The vaping landscape used to be muddy. Companies touted vaping’s safety and superiority as a smoking cessation tool for a long time, although most vapers were not actually trying to minimize nicotine use – tobacco’s most addictive compound. Healthcare societies and advertising watchdogs are still trying to make sense of vaping, its effects on the human body and its spike in popularity among teenagers and young adults. Results just keep getting worse.

Bans increase as vapers are falling ill

  • After 1479 cases of vaping-induced lung disease and 33 deaths, many US states plan legislation for a ban of flavored vaping cartridges.
  • E-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury (EVALI) is the term for the disease which affects vape users, mimicking pneumonia. Many cases require ICU care.
  • As to the cause of EVALI, researchers are clutching at straws. Although Vitamin E was the prime suspect initially, most experts now agree that the likely cause is not caused by a simple substance.
  • A total ban on vaping has its merits seems like an obvious solution for public health officials. Could it open Pandora’s box instead?

Vaping companies deliberately targeted teenagers.

  • Robert Jackler and his team at Stanford investigated JUUL, the largest e-cigarette vendor in the US. First clue: it’s owned by Big Tobacco.
  • Jackler et al. proved that JUUL acted suspiciously deliberately with their marketing campaign. They started out with aggressive teenage-centered marketing and backed off once they jumpstarted the social media engine.
  • All the while, the company maintained that it’s product main purpose was to aid with smoking cessation. The obvious question: Is it FDA approved?

The way forward

  • As the medical community tries to get a grip on VAPI, nicotine addicts that used vapes as an alternative to smoking should be more aware of the hidden risks. There are other means of receiving nicotine.
  • Nicotine-free vapers should reconsider their habit!

Summing up, will vaping go down in history as the hook that Big Tobacco used to get Generation Z addicted to nicotine? Time will tell…

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