Juul Helping Keep Vaporizers Away From Kids
The quickly growing company pledged 30 million dollars to fight teenage vaping
Questions surrounding how vaping affects the future choices of teenagers has always been a hotly contested fight in the vaping community. Some believe that the vast majority of teens who start vaping had already been smokers, while others think that casual vaping among peers is leading to traditional smoking long term. While evidence is still inconclusive at best as to the reality of the situation, some e-cigarette makers are doing what they can to ensure the responsible and lawful use of their products. Juul Labs, the maker of the Juul e-cigarette, recently announced they would spend $30 million to fight the growing concern of youth vaping.
Juul Labs’ Pledge
Juul Labs originated as a subsidiary of the PAX Labs brand, most well known for their line of high-end marijuana vaporizers. Just last year, Juul Labs formally spun off into their own company run by James Monsees and Adam Bowen. The Juul e-cigarette has rocketed to the top of the cig-a-like world in the last couple of years, after finally surpassing Blu e-cigs. But this success has also put the target on their back, as legislators attempt to keep up with the rapidly changing vaporizer market. This culminated for Juul Labs as the FDA called into question the marketing and design of their products, claiming they aim to appeal to a younger audience.
While not being forced to do so, Juul Labs decided to donate $30 million to set up an expert panel whose goal would be preventing teenage vaping. The money will also go toward funding research into the long-term effects of vaping. The panel will be led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who recently joined a group to formally question the FDA’s potential e-liquid flavor ban. While not much is know about the overall plan, one of the primary goals of the panel will be supporting legislation on a federal level that would raise the minimum age for vaping up from 18 to 21.
Statistics On Teenage Vaping
One of the toughest things about adequately understanding e-cigarettes is their relative infancy. Cigarettes have been studied for decades which uncovered the true depths of the damage they cause. That being said, researchers have seen troubling trends regarding the connection between vaping and eventual smoking. If proven correct, it would be a significant blow to the vaping industry, as well as a wake-up call for keeping vaping out of the hands of teens. On such study published back in January concluded that teens who vape are seven times as likely to end up smoking.
Luckily not all of the evidence is this grim. A poll conducted by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of teenage vapers had previously been non-smokers. So even if it does end up being true that vaping can lead to smoking, only an extremely small percentage of teens who vape were non-smokers to begin with. What’s better is the ASH poll was large scale compared to many of the other studies undertaken on the subject, totaling over 60,000 students between the ages of 11-16.
No one is trying to say that vaping is 100% harmless. It does, however, represent the best chance many smokers have to break free from the debilitating habit. A growing body of evidence shows that vaping is the undoubtedly safer alternative to continued smoking. Public Health England famously released a study back in 2015 that concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. Studies have also indicated that vaping is a hugely successful smoking cessation tool. Researchers at the University of Louisville found that vaping was actually more likely to lead to successful cessation than any other method, including prescription drugs.
But that being said, vaping must be done responsibly. That begins with understanding that vaping is a smoking cessation tool. It’s meant for adults who want to curb their smoking habit, not for teens looking to try new flavors. There isn’t enough support for the idea that acceptance of vaping as a smoking cessation tool and acknowledgment of the risk posed to teens aren’t mutually exclusive ideas. That’s why it’s so great to see a successful e-cigarette company take charge and start the dialogue about ways we can keep vaporizers out of kids hands, while still supporting them for their numerous benefits.
Do you think that vaping leads teens to pick up smoking? Do you think it’s a good idea for companies like Juul Labs to put money into fighting teenage vaping? How do you think we can better support responsible vaping while still protecting the kids? 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.