Over the last few years, the CDC and other government organizations have released information indicating there is an ‘epidemic’ involving teen vape users. Many of these reports suggest that the number of teens who vape is increasing rapidly, resulting in a health crisis.
Recent reports of vape related lung damage have continued to push this narrative. As a result, several places in the United States have banned flavored vape products in hopes that this will make people –especially teens– less likely to vape.
However, research has proven there is no such epidemic. New information also suggests that flavor options are not to blame for enticing teens to vape. A new study has shown that teens who are regular smokers are most likely to vape. Only about 1% of teens who are not regular smokers have tried vaping.
Although there’s no doubt that teens smoking and/or vaping is a serious issue that should be addressed, it’s important that false narratives don’t get used as a way to address this problem.
The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) is urging government officials “to limit the marketing of tobacco products while still making them available to the millions of adult smokers in America.” Others have suggested changing the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 and harsher punishments for those who sell vape products to underage users.
Although the perfect solution hasn’t been implemented yet, one thing is for sure: a strict flavor ban could result in more harm than good. Limiting adults access to vape products means that smokers will have one less option when trying to quit.
Many smokers who have transitioned to vaping believe the decision has saved their lives. They also believe that their lives could be at risk due to the CDC’s inaccurate information as well as flavor bans and added restrictions on other vape products.
Debbye Saladine-Thompson, who smoked for 35 years before switching to vaping told U.S News “I cannot trust an agency that says the product that I and so many people have been using for 10 years and hasn’t caused one death is now causing hundreds of illnesses. No, I do not believe that.”
As trust in both legislation and the CDC continues to decrease, researches and vape enthusiasts will continue to push the truth to the forefront.