Vape powerhouses face scrutiny by FDA

FDA makes efforts to crack down on teen vape/e-cigarette abuse by threatening to ban online sales and sweet, appealing flavors

Evan Gray, Online Editor & Business Manager

Vaping became a new phenomenon in the early 2000’s and it was originally made to be a transition to help older tobacco smokers try to quit the bad habit. But nowadays, vaping has become a thing for not only quitting smokers, but also underage kids who are looking for a head-buzz.

“I never understood why these kids want to suck on a flash drive,” senior Jack Wexler said. “It just looks dumb and picking up an addiction at such a young age is just stupid.”

In early September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that teenage use of electronic cigarettes has reached “an epidemic proportion,” and that the major devices (JUUL, Sourin, etc.) have roughly three months to prove they can keep their devices away from minors. This problem started from major chains and lone vape shops selling vape accessories and the e-cigarettes to minors.

“Sometimes it baffles me how kids at such a young, impressionable age are already smoking,” senior Amanda Marshall said. “I am also confused on how they get them because I’m pretty sure that you have to be 18 or older to even buy them.”

The FDA’s main device that they worry about is the JUUL, which is a device made for the purpose of being an alternative to smoking cigarettes.

The JUUL is sold as a battery that comes with four “pods” which are little pieces that get inserted in the top of the battery and used as a mouthpiece to smoke out of and a container for the vape “juice” within it. The flavors can range from fruity ones like mango or more plant-based ones like mint or tobacco.

“I think almost everyone has heard about vaping, especially the JUUL brand,” junior Ryan Fromm said. “But I think that the kids who use it don’t fully understand how bad they are for them and what the negatives of smoking really are.”

Another main focal point the FDA is focusing on is the fact that some companies that make the vape juice are making flavors that appeal to kids like cotton candy and other flavors that seem to appeal to a younger audience.

“Vaping is just stupid and it makes absolutely zero sense,” senior Lindsey Berg said.