Got A Vaping Teen? These Couple Tricks Could Solve The Problem

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With worries over teenage vaping at an all time high, companies like Juul are working toward solutions

Smoking continues to be one of the most dangerous habits shared by a large number of humans. Even with all the progress made against the smoking epidemic over the last 30 years, tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe. While smoking deserves the horrible reputation its gained, vaping has become innately tied to tobacco for little reason, and as a result, is now viewed as extremely dangerous. In fact, polls indicate that only around 13% of adults actually understand that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.

In addition to the evidence on the harm reduction value of vaping, we also have plenty of evidence indicating the vast majority of teenage vapers had previously been smoking. One large-scale survey concluded that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens ever start vaping on a regular basis. Regardless, of the evidence, vaping companies have been forced to adjust their strategy, or face significant backlash from public health agencies and legislators alike. Juul Labs, the maker of the Juul, has been one of the first to make these changes, being at the forefront of the debate. Their latest move integrates Bluetooth technology to create so-called, “geo-fences.”

Juul’s Latest Innovation

Being the undisputed industry leader, Juul Labs has been dealing with an increased amount of scrutiny this year. As the public awareness and concern over vaping increases, companies like Juul have been forced to answer new questions about their business practices. To their credit, Juul Labs has gone above and beyond what was required of them thus far. For example, earlier this year they pledged $30 million over the next several years to help fund independent research into the long-term effects and efficacy of e-cigarettes. But they weren’t done yet, as soon after they overhauled their social media presence to exclude any paid models, and instead use real life vapers who were finally able to quit smoking thanks to Juul. They even paid for a wide-spread ad campaign whose sole purpose was giving parents the information they need to detect if their child is trying to hide vaping.

But even given all they’ve already done, many think that their latest move will have the most significant impact on teenage vaping. Just recently Juul Labs announced that soon their devices would include Bluetooth connectivity aimed at keeping the device out of the hands of minors. To do this, they’re implementing what is known as geo-fences. These digital barriers will allow Juul devices to be locked, making them unusable while in specific locations such as at school or the doctor. This could be precisely what Juul Labs needed to genuinely gain some trust from parents and politicians regarding their true intentions.

Other Vaping Prevention Technology

It’s not just Juul Labs who is starting to take notice of how worried parents and legislators are about the prospect of teenage vaping. One company taking the lead in preventing underage vaping is Soter Technologies, who just recently announced a new version of their device designed to detect e-liquid vapor in the air. The vapor “smoke-detector,” called the Fly Sense, is set to release version 2.5 in the coming months. When Soter Tech first introduced the Fly Sense back in August of last year, they immediately became a hot commodity for school districts and municipalities looking for a way to combat the easy to hid vaping. Now, just a little over a year later, the vaping detection technology has been sold to school districts across 21 states, as well as some places in Canada as well.

Their latest version of the device is said to include their greatest vaping sensor ever, along with support for an integrated mobile app and status indicator LEDs. It even allows you to schedule your alerts in a particular way, making it easier for busy teachers and administrators to keep on top of things. Another cool, but non-vaping related, feature of the newest Fly Sense is the ability to detect “sound anomalies,” which can supposedly alert administrators about bullying or fights. Covering the necessary bases is important to the company, as according to the CEO, Derek Peterson, “we must use both technology-based and education-based tools.”

Implications

While the full breadth of evidence on vaping is still being conducted, protecting the youth from things they can’t fully understand remains extremely important. That’s why it is great to see companies like Juul, and even non-vaping companies like Soter Technology, work toward tools that can not only make children safer but also make vaping a much more viable harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. At the end of the day, one of the most significant problems still facing vaping is that a significant portion of policymakers out there are perfectly content equating the dangers of smoking with vaping. That’s why more technology like this that further distinguishes the apparent differences between vaping and smoking is so vital. If we want to live in a world free of the smoking epidemic, then we must be using all the best tools we have, which includes vaping.

Do you think it’s important for teenage vaping to be controlled? Are geo-fences or vaping detectors a good idea in your opinion? How can we best inform the general public about the benefits of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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