Updated: May 18
While e-cigarette companies marketed and branded their products with the promise of providing adult smokers a healthier alternative to cigarettes, this was merely a part of an overall strategy sought to target children. Leading brands such as Blu, JUUL, Vuse, NJOY, and Posh seized their opportunity to tap into the underaged market through social media campaigns specifically targeting our youth. Videos on platforms commonly used by children under 18, such as TikTok and Snapchat, would promote these “vape” products as a safer and cooler alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Seeing year after year that cigarette use among children was plummeting, traditional heavyweights in the tobacco industry began shifting to e-cigarette and vape products. Just like they had done in the past, tobacco companies aggressively pursued young children who they could turn into life-long users of their vape products.
According to a 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, roughly one-third of students surveyed, (31%) said they used an e-cigarette because of availability of “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate,” while 17% said they used it because they perceived them to be “less harmful than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes.”
While Blu, JUUL, Logic, Vuse, NJOY, and Posh claim that their goal is to provide adult smokers with a safer alternative, their range of flavored e-cigarettes suggests otherwise. In 2009, the FDA banned traditional tobacco companies from selling flavored cigarettes, because of the dangers they pose. Specifically by making cigarettes more attractive children. Despite this, Blu, JUUL, Logic, Vuse, NJOY, and Posh all offer at least one of the following favors:
Since these are not flavors that regular smokers can even find on the market, it’s laughable to think they were designed to provide a safer smoking alternative. Instead, they made nicotine and vape product more attractive to young people who didn’t already smoke. In 2020, when New York City and New Jersey banned flavored e-cigarettes vape products, these companies begrudgingly started to remove most of their flavored e-cigarette options. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarabrittanysomerset/2019/12/17/new-york-city-bans-flavored-e-liquids/?sh=b3c2c36bf63c
But even now, as the Biden Administration has clearly stated it will ban all menthol cigarettes. Blu, JUUL, Logic, Vuse, NJOY, and Posh are still selling menthol e-cigarettes and getting teens and other vulnerable demographics addicted to vaping.
The damage has already been done and these manufacturers must be held accountable for their unethical tactics, which have contributed to lifelong health problems for our youth.
It’s no secret that cigarettes are bad for your health, so it’s easy to get behind the idea of a safer alternative. Unfortunately, the reality is that vaping can deliver even more nicotine than cigarettes, exacerbating certain health risks instead of mitigating them. Not to mention vaping can expose the user to inhaling dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde and diacetyl.
Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer, reproductive harm, cardiovascular injury, and immunosuppressive conditions. This can make someone, especially children, more susceptible to adverse side-effects from Covid-19 and a whole slew of other health issues. Diacetyl, if inhaled, has been linked to a condition called “popcorn lung” or progressive lung disease, which can cause long-term scarring and permanent breathing issues. Vaping also can expose the user to heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, nickel, and tin. This can lead to any of the following conditions:
Skin Numbness and Cancer
Cancer in noise and lungs
Respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal harm or death
This is in addition to the negative consequences traditionally associated with nicotine use such as:
Coronary artery disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Cataracts and Vision Loss
Macular degeneration (cataracts and vision loss)
These are only some of the negative health risks associated with e-cigarette use, and there are countless more currently being studied in labs and research centers across the country. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about your rights as a parent of a child that was taken advantage of by these unscrupulous companies. We will fight for you and your family as if you were one of our own.