With a whopping 41 million American adults vaping as of 2018, it’s clear that it’s a popular activity for many across the nation.
While many may vape or use e-cigarettes to begin a journey of quitting a harmful cigarette habit, others do it to be part of the ever so lively vaping scene. However, while many may believe vaping to be completely harmless, recent news and events in North Hollywood and throughout the nation have led to some controversy around the matter.
A nationwide culture and its potential risks
Vaping quickly rose to popularity due to sleek designed devices and an array of flavors, giving it an attractive appeal as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Over the years, a vaping culture has formed, with even those who have never smoked before joining in on the activity. With that, the vaping scene has exploded in popularity across the nation, and North Hollywood is no exception. In fact, one teen by the name of Simah Herman was able to enter a North Hollywood smokehouse without getting carded (she claimed to be 22 years old). Herman then proceeded to buy and use Juul pods and other vaping products and accessories, as many do – however, she eventually found herself in the hospital with what doctors first thought was pneumonia.
The local teen isn’t the only one to be sent to the hospital due to an apparently vaping-related illness. A number of similar cases made the headlines this year, with many reporting respiratory symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing. As of November 7th of 2019, 2,051 vaping related injury cases and 39 deaths were reported, causing concern for vapers across the country. After an investigation, the CDC concluded that vitamin E acetate may be the toxin to blame for the lung disease now called EVALI, which has been identified in many of the vape-related cases.
A household name
One of the biggest and most well-known manufacturers among those who vape is Juul, a company that manufactures flavored pods that are inserted into a flash drive-like body. With several tempting flavors to choose from, including watermelon, mango and even cappuccino, it’s no surprise that many teens have taken up vaping as an after school hobby. Juul says its products don’t contain THC or vitamin E acetate, bringing many customers relief in the wake of the illnesses. However, there have been allegations that the company shipped out 1 million contaminated pods earlier in the year, without issuing a recall or notice to its customers. The Juul lawsuit has since brought controversy to the hobby that many Americans have enjoyed throughout recent years.
A citywide solution
Due to recent events, the lively American vaping scene is under scrutiny – especially when it comes to the concern of underage teens getting involved. While the Trump Administration plans to ban the sale of flavored vaping products to combat teen vaping, a citywide ban has already been put into effect in Los Angeles by the city attorney, which bans the sale of flavored tobacco products. Juul has also taken action in the matter by halting sales of fruity and other tempting flavors as well.
Vaping has grown in popularity over recent years, especially when it comes to the younger generation. However, in the light of recent events, many are taking action to make vaping safer for everyone – even if it means putting a ban on flavors that many teenagers enjoy.