FDA Attempts to Reduce E-Cigarette Use of Minors

Juul device, along with the Mango and Cool Mint pod.

Juul device, along with the Mango and Cool Mint pod.

By Paris Carlson, Reporter

On Thursday, November 15th, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their ban on selling flavored nicotine e-cigarette juices in shops and stores that are easily accessible to minors.

E-cigarettes, more commonly referred to as vapes, are largely appealing to many teenagers; students anywhere from 12 to 17 years old are gaining the habit of ‘vaping’. While some teens understand the dangers and steer away from vaping, many are adding this “hobby,” as some say, into their everyday routine. You can catch teens at home, outside, at parties, in the bathroom, and even in the classroom, using these electronic cigarettes. This has been a growing, serious problem in today’s youth. Predominantly through 2016 to today.

In 2015, PAX Labs started selling their most popular product yet, known as the “Juul.” The discrete, slim, and modern design is just one reason that children and teens have been attracted to buying and using these Juuls. Flavors such as Creme Brulee, and Mango are big contribution to why students are persuaded into trying these “chic” e-cigarettes; the thoughts of having a bad taste of tobacco in their mouths aren’t there, as opposed when they are offered cigarettes. The nicotine in these Juuls are very high too, using 50% salt nicotine e-juices to give the user a fix of nicotine in a shorter amount of time. Many students like the “buzz” or “head rush” of the nicotine, which is also a factor that keeps them using the Juul.

These persuasions aren’t the reason that the FDA is cracking down on the sale, though. Jenn Johnson, general manager of eCig Source, a regional chain of e-cigarette stores, doesn’t agree with those who say that these effects are the main reasons that kids vape. “It’s a good thing… They were being accessed in areas (such as gas stations or convenience stores) that aren’t strict on carding,” Johnson said.

It’s clear that the fruity flavors and feelings that result from the nicotine make it less of a big deal for teenagers to “hit the juul,” as many say, but the easy access of the Juul and Juul Pods from gas stations and convenience stores make teens more open to “Juuling” or vaping. Even though there is a policy to card someone when buying e-cigarettes, or any tobacco/nicotine product in general, some stores are not strict on this. To make a friend or get in close with one of the workers isn’t too hard, especially when the worker is young and not opposed to underage vaping/smoking.

Teens will even sell pods and juice at school, to make money or to get their nicotine fix. If getting any e-cigarette was a hassle or struggle, like other drugs or nicotine products, many teenagers wouldn’t start.

The FDA’s choice to restrict the sale is a huge step in cutting down kids’ and teens’ vape/nicotine intake.