Vaping epidemic brings serious health problems
It has been a busy fall for the vaping industry. Vaping has been linked to 37 deaths and more than 1,000 illnesses, mostly involving young people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in October.
In response, several states, including New York and Massachusetts, have banned flavored e-cigarette products, and the Trump Administration has said it would pursue a federal ban. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of testing vaping products.
The chief executive of Juul, Kevin Burns, resigned Sept. 25 and will be replaced by an executive at Altria, a tobacco company that owns 35 percent of Juul. Juul Labs, the leading e-cigarette maker, has lost value recently but is still currently worth about $24 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report. A federal ban could cost Juul 80 percent of its revenues.
Juul is also cancelling one of its ad campaigns, “Make the Switch,” which aimed to get people to switch over from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.
In Minnesota, one in four high-school juniors has used a vaping product in the past 30 days, an increase of more than 50 percent since 2016, according to an October report, Minnesota Student Survey, by the state Department of Health. Vaping among 8th-graders has more than doubled since 2016, with 11 percent vaping in the past month, the report said.
In the survey, three of four high-school juniors in Minnesota claimed that vaping had no, slight or moderate health risks. Teens who try vaping are four times more likely to try conventional cigarettes, the health department said.