By Mike Corcoran
As of Sept. 11, the federal government plans to move forward with banning all flavored electronic cigarettes besides tobacco.
The use of the e-cigarettes is still growing. According to fda.gov, after a survey was taken back in 2018, approximately 3.6 million students currently use e-cigarettes.
According to truthinitiative.org, the use of e-cigarettes in high school students went from only 1.5 students using the devices in 2011, to 11.7 students in 2017.
Those statistics are followed by the recent growth in lung-related diseases; according to apnews.com, in Hartford, Connecticut’s Department of Health is looking in 11 cases possible vaping-related illnesses. Commissioner Renée Coleman-Mitchell issued a warning on Sept. 5 that people should not consider using vaping-devices or e-cigarettes.
How does this affect the students and faculty of Sacred Heart? Professor Dhia Habboush from the College of Arts and Sciences believes there is no reason to tamper with this issue if it is not directly causing damage to anyone.
“This is a personal issue and should not be dictated by anyone as long as it harms no other one,” said Habboush.
Many college students across the country believe vaping is just the thing to do, and senior Ben Burke believes that students are in danger.
“Students who own Juuls and vapes have higher risk of health issues, but every student should be aware,” said Burke. “A lot of people without Juuls ask to use the device here and there and all of a sudden one person’s Juul becomes a community Juul. Kids will even buy a single pod without owning a battery.”
The federal government is starting to realize that these devices may be more dangerous than normal cigarettes.
According to Apnews.com, The Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters during an Oval Office appearance with the President, First Lady Melania Trump and the acting FDA commissioner, Ned Sharpless.
The FDA will be taking away the more attractive looking flavors after the ban. Students are attracted to flavors like mango and other fruit-flavored cartridges because it may be more tasty compared to a tobacco-flavored product.
With the constant production of new flavors and products coming out every day, why has the FDA not already banned the flavors when they now know about youth using these products?
Associated Press reported that the FDA has had authority over these flavors since 2016 and instead of banning the flavors, they were studying them to see if the flavors really helped actual smokers quit.
However, while the FDA was studying, underaged citizens of the United States have been filling their lungs with unknown substances.
According to buzzfeednews.com, New York has officially become the first state to ban flavored vape products after seven people died and several hundred across the nation became sickened with lung-related illnesses. The state’s health department announced the emergency regulation on Tuesday, and it will be going into effect immediately.
“It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch, and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes — it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Fortunately, the state of New York has something else in mind in regards to the potential epidemic.
“New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits,” said Cuomo.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.