In today’s news, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the united states is set to ban flavored e-cigarettes across the country. Even as we speak, the top officials of the FDA are working on the last phase of the plan to stop the distribution of e-cigarettes in the country. It is believed that the FDA’s bid to ban e-cigarette was inspired by the recent outbreak of vaping-related ailments in the US. Six people lost their lives to this outbreak and many more developed lung cancer as a result of vaping.
The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex M. Azar II, while addressing the members of the press on September 11th, 2019, made it clear that the government’s intention to “clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes” is to combat the alarming widespread of teenage e-cigarette use that is impacting our kids, schools, families, and communities. He also added that the people of the United States will not sit idly while these flavored e-cigarettes products become the new addiction for teenagers and youths of the forthcoming generations.
Although we understand perfectly where the FDA stands on the matter, we are yet to answer the underlying question that has been plaguing the adult vapers for a while now;
Will the FDA deny smokers the benefits of e-cigarettes?
Since the invention of vaping machines, e-cigarettes have been touted as a safer alternative to smoking. Some people even see vaping as their escape from nicotine and tobacco addiction, and so banning flavored e-cigarettes may send them back to their addiction.
According to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, one out of ten middle school students and one out of four high school students try vaping within the space of 30 days. Looking at the statistics, we see why the FDA and the world at large should be afraid of the e-cigarette epidemic. However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the benefits of vaping, especially among smokers. Of course, we have to protect our youths from the potential abuse and misuse of flavored e-cigarettes. But instead of banning the flavored e-cigarette products from the market, we should work out a solution that will protect teenagers without denying smokers the benefits of vaping.
The Way out.
In response to President Trump’s call to the FDA on e-cigarette products, States like Michigan (the first state to ban e-cigarettes) have now turned their backs on e-cigarettes. So smokers will have a hard time calming their smoking addiction in the nearest future. Instead of turning our backs to these products and banning them for everyone. The FDA should lead an inquisition into the production processes of e-cigarettes to pinpoint the harmful ingredients that can cause the imminent epidemic of vaping amongst teenagers. Also, the federal government should declare a law that allows only qualified persons to enjoy the benefit of vaping, just like medical marijuana. That way, people will know what they are getting into when they try vaping.
Smoking has many health risks and it is susceptible to abuse and misuse among teenagers, but we don’t see anyone banning cigarettes completely from the market. If the “smokers are liable to die young” warning on the pack of cigarettes is good enough for the government. It should work in vaping as well.