Opinion

Banning Flavored E-cigarettes is Ineffective

Courtesy of Wikimedia CommonsMany e-cigarettes work the same way with a coil which heats up the liquid in a container. The user then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapor.

Last week the Trump administration announced it will ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes as a result of the rising number of hospitalizations linked to vaping. The use of e-cigarettes has continued to rise among teenagers and college students and these devices can be highly addictive due to the amount of nicotine found in the products. Banning fruity flavors will not stop this trend.

E-cigarettes are small devices used to inhale aerosols that typically hold nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The administration was quick to react to the dangers of vaping — the action of inhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette — after over a hundred hospitalizations and several deaths.

“We are going to have to do something about it,” President Trump said during a press conference last week. “People are dying from vaping.”

It’s nice to see how concerned our president is about America’s youth when it comes to vaping. Meanwhile, there have been 300 mass shootings in the United States along with 10,589 gun-related deaths as of Sept. 16, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

There has only been one legislative act passed under the Trump administration when it comes to gun control, but luckily flavored e-cigarettes will no longer plague the nation. This still means non-flavored tobacco products will be on shelves.

The rising use of e-cigarettes was first noticed by Loyola’s Wellness Center in 2015, The Phoenix reported. There was a 78 percent increase in the use of e-cigarettes among students from 2017 to 2018, according to the FDA.

Vitamin E additives are claimed to be linked to the vaping-related deaths. Extremely high levels of the additive were found in nearly all analyzed samples of THC vape products, according to a report by NBC. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that can be concentrated into wax and inhaled through vaporization. Vitamin E was not found in any of the nicotine products tested but are the only products which are being banned.

States including Michigan and New York have already taken a stand against e-cigarettes by banning flavored products, according to The New York Times. This is a big loss to stores selling flavored tobacco products but the ban isn’t predicted to do well against teens who are already addicted, according to a USA Today article written by Jayne O’Donnell.

The U.S. market for e-cigarettes was predicted to reach $16.5 billion by 2024 but will take a big hit if the federal ban is put in place. Stores relying on the sale of nicotine products will lose a large amount of inventory, which can cripple countless businesses.

E-cigarettes can be highly addictive due to the amount of nicotine used in the products. People often become dependent on these and struggle to shake the addiction. Banning certain flavors of this harmful product will not result in anything more than struggling businesses and those addicted looking for another product to use.

Focusing on issues like gun control and drug regulation is how this administration can protect the nation’s youth.

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