Can you really believe anything the tobacco or vaping industry says about wanting to protect kids from using their products? This morning a tweet from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids appeared regarding Juul, the vaping device popular among kids. The tweet probably wouldn’t have raised eyebrows if Juul hadn’t committed to supporting Tobacco 21.
In the past the tobacco industry said they marketed to adults, but throughout the years internal tobacco documents were released showing a cover up and strategic plans to market to youth. Now the vaping industry is doing the same and our kids are once again buying into a nicotine addicted lifestyle without knowing the risks.
E-cigarettes have been on the market for several years, but it wasn’t until a sleek digital device with the look of a USB drive that can be charged using your computer came onto the market that youth use exploded. The device is call Juul, and is part of the lexicon of kids everywhere. In the past year alone Juul’s sales have surged almost 800%, and “in a four-week period captured more than half of the $2 billion e-cigarette market.” By the end of May 2018 the Juul market share was at 64%: by August 11, 2018, it was at 72.2%. The devices can be found on almost every high school and middle school campus, and kids know who has one and how to get one. The industry is saying it is “safer” and “less harmful” than cigarettes, but don’t reveal the chemicals in the flavorings, the nicotine in the devices or the risk to a user’s health.
Juul said “it wants to help stop teens from using its products, but only after receiving a warning letter from the FDA. Juul wasn’t the only brand targeted; a total of 17 brands received letters from the FDA for allowing their products to be sold through the internet and through other means without proper verification of age. Two days after the warning letter, it was reported Juul Labs planned on investing $30 million over the next three years to “fund independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement efforts.” Sounds like a page from the tobacco industry which also funded “tobacco prevention education.” It should be noted that “JUUL labs began restricting sales of its products to those 21 and over through its own web site as long ago as August 2017, at least according to an article on Vapenews.com
Juul Labs CEO also went so far as to say “we are committed to deterring young people, as well as adults who do not currently smoke, from using our products. We cannot be more emphatic on this point: No young person or non-nicotine user should ever try (Juul).” But what he said, and the actions of the company aren’t on the same page. Months ago they reaffirmed their commitment to Tobacco 21 policy, now they have joined the Vapor Technology Association as a Platinum Member and are celebrating the defeat of T21 in Illinois as a “Vapor Victory.” It didn’t take them long to change their tune.
We understand adult smokers have options regarding using other forms of nicotine products. But this is about the kids, the ones who are non-nicotine users the JUUL CEO said should not ever try JUUL. Can we truly believe anything this company or any vaping company says in the future? Sounds like they are blowing vapor out of both sides of their mouth.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and vaping is an important part of the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course and we are committed to teaching our participants about the dangers of all tobacco and nicotine products. Florida administrators, school counselors and educators can take a 30- or 60-point course and teacher six (6) tobacco prevention lessons for credits to renew their FLDOE certificate. Each course has a chapter dedicated to e-cigarettes and vaping risks. Palm Beach secondary educators have an option of taking a 10-point E-cigarette/Vaping course. Florida School Nurses can now take a tobacco/vaping course for 20 CEUs. You can find more information about our courses at: http://www.tobaccopreventiontraining.org