by Isabelle Mokotoff
In 2019, there has been a mass resurgence of teen smoking. Seeing how this issue affected my own community, I decided to research it. The Juul, a vaping product, often replaces traditional cigarettes. While originally created to help adults lessen their cigarette usage, they have inadvertently garnered attention from a new and much larger audience – teens. Sold in tantalizing flavors such as mango, melon and “cherry crush”, these highly addictive products lure teens into the dangerous world of smoking. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, warns of the repercussions in making Juuls so appealing to teens, “In closing the on-ramp to kids, we’re going to have to narrow the off-ramp for adults who want to migrate off combustible tobacco and onto e-cigs” (McGinley 2). The FDA has a multi-fold plan to coerce Juuling companies into rethinking their marketing and products. Ultimately, the goal is to make Juuls less alluring to impressionable teens.
As a teen, I see so many of my peers succumbing to Juul companies’ marketing tactics. The Washington Post highlights the lack of ethos in the Juuling industry and attacks these companies’ credibility, stating, “There’s no track record for this industry being able to police themselves on a voluntary basis” (McGinley 3). After reading, it becomes grossly apparent that big companies are not concerned with helping adult smokers wane off their bad habits, as they so frequently claim. Instead, they just care about making a profit, regardless of whether or not it hurts young people in the process. All in all, students should be wary of seductive marketing, as the product may be hazardous.
Localizing this issue to North Springs, my fellow students and teachers have many opinions on this issue. Kiara Willis notes, “I think its harmful for teenagers and definitely targets our age group. Then people develop a nicotine adiction at 17”. A long-time member of the North Springs community, Mr. Rogers, says, “We don’t know the actual effects they have on teens… in 20 years I’m sure the effects will be life-ruining”. As seen by these quotes, this issue hits closer to home than many believe.
McGinley, Laurie. “FDA Chief Calls Youth e-Cigarettes an ‘Epidemic’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 12 Sept. 2018, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fda -chief-calls-youth-use-of-juul-other-e-cigarettes-an-epidemic/2018/09/12/ ddaa6612-b5c8-11e8-a7b5-adaaa5b2a57f_story.html?utm_term=.3ac64ae39f83.