Teen vaping is the latest hot-button issue plaguing our industry. Not a day goes by without a slew of news reports claiming that a teen vaping epidemic is taking over our schools and providing a dangerous gateway to smoking cigarettes (and, in some instances, marijuana).
Like most issues in modern society, there are two sides to the debate – and this week, we got to hear two distinctly different takes on the issue.
First up, author Abby Schachter wrote an op-ed for the New York Post stating that the teen vaping epidemic is a myth.
Schachter points out how the press has singled out the Juul as the device at the heart of this new supposed public health nightmare – while also mentioning that the makers of the Juul have been very open to working with the FDA and government to prevent underage smokers from obtaining the device.
The opinion piece goes on to talk about how teen smoking numbers have fallen – both for traditional cigarettes and vaping – according to Center for Disease Control studies. Yet the hysteria remains — with the media driving the narrative.
The article is a very persuasive argument for those who wonder if the media is making a mountain out a molehill when it comes to the teen vaping epidemic.
Meanwhile, this Good Morning America segment provides a counterpoint. Here, a high school student offers anecdotal evidence that the Juul is essentially taking over his high school and getting his classmates addicted to nicotine.
Scarsdale High School senior Jack Waxman (founder of the organization Juulers Against Juul) says “You couldn’t be caught dead with a cigarette right now if you’re a teenager, but with juuling, it’s cool to Juul” in the segment. He also highlights that many of his peers feel helplessly addicted to the device – which provides the rough equivalent of a pack of cigarettes’ worth of nicotine per pod.
No matter which side of the debate you come down on, I think we can all agree that teens shouldn’t have access to these products. Whether there’s a real, discernible uptick in teen use seems up for debate, but Juul and other retailers are making a concerted effort to work with the FDA to help prevent a teen vaping epidemic before it becomes a major issue.
Check out the Good Morning America segment here.