December 10, 2023

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Garnet Valley High School

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Vaping Epidemic Sweeps the United States

by amytownend
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In Mr. Layman’s Current Issue classes, students have been writing and researching world issues such as climate change and income equality. The one topic that students spent 2 weeks discussing is the vaping epidemic. Students were able to watch a documentary about vaping which showed two sides to the issue. E-cigarettes such as Juuls were first produced to help smokers quit cigarettes or smoking entirely. Flavors such as blueberry or chocolate were created in order to encourage adults to quit.

In countries such as the UK, smoking is a huge issue and governments are willing to try any solution to solve the problem. Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with much more living with smoking-related illnesses. E-cigarette companies have been very successful in helping people quit smoking.

 However, in the US, Juul has been reaching out and advertising to teenagers. While Juul claims to have no part in the teenage epidemic, the previous campaigning was aimed at younger age groups. These ads can be compared to cigarette companies that were also directed at teens and early 20s. Teenagers up to 25 are most at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine and these ads are directed at attracting them. The US government is facing a hugely controversial issue because while it is helpful to current smokers trying to quit, it is killing teens. Over 30 teenagers have died from lung-related illnesses that the CDC believes is related to their usage of E-cigarettes. Some of these cases involve THC-laced pods which is evidence that pods have entered the black market. The US government’s most recent crackdown is on flavored pods. These flavored pods attract teenagers and help get them addicted early on and they will be addicted for life. Vaping is a huge issue specifically for teenagers and there’s no one way that this issue can be solved. 

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