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Lack of Vaping Laws Harms All Americans

It’s time we all accept the truth that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as smoking tobacco. According to Johns Hopkins, e-cigarettes still have nicotine which is a lifelong addictive chemical.  It’s the nicotine that tobacco smokers struggle with quitting the addiction.  If the same chemicals are used, then it’s a similar health risk suggesting e-cigarettes should be regulated.  

How many times have you tried to quit smoking or watched someone try to quit?  Some of us can say every Sunday night we say it’s our last time. Monday will be a new smoke-free life.  Sure, until that little monster in your head starts reminding you that you need a cigarette. The Truth video depicting the little monsters forcing us to take smoke breaks couldn’t be a truer depiction of the smoker’s mental cycle. Smoking is an addiction that’s not that easy to break.  But it has been curbed with an onslaught of laws regarding adverting and smoke-free atmospheric limitations. We can’t say the same for vaping. It’s time that vaping be held to the same standards of smoking especially since this new disease is aimed at teens and recovering smokers. Congress must amend the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1970 to enforce regulations on e-cigarettes.  

E-cigarettes also have added health issues since nicotine salts are combined with an aerosol with heating creating a mixture of stronger nicotine and metal components in the “vape”.  Vaping doesn’t occur either-it’s inhalation of an aerosol. We’ve been banning aerosols for years due to their harm on the ozone-what do you think it could do you a person’s lung-zone?  

Teens are the target of e-cigarettes.  Have you ever bought a pack of Swedish Fish cigarettes? Or how about Hawaiin Punch snuff?  Neither of these flavors is available in tobacco products because adults aren’t looking for novelty flavors. E-cigarettes come in a variety of flavors, many sweet tasting like candy.  See here is the connection. Teens are kids. We try to force more responsibility on them to strengthen them for adulthood but that’s not how it works in America. Today’s American teens are not working in the Industrial Revolution mills and factories, they are our top consumers of toys (yes, $500 consoles for video games) and candy.  E-cigarette creators understand the trend and entice teens with flavors to sweeten up the addiction.  Teens think, “If it tastes like Swedish Fish how could it be bad for me?” Teens are still kids, it’s time we upgrade our laws to protect them.  They’re only inhaling what we the parents have not banned. That’s our responsibility. 

Tobacco smoking is on the rise since e-cigarettes are a gateway drug.  Yes, that old term from the war on drugs is back. But it’s true. According to the FDA, 30% of teen vapers will begin smoking regular tobacco cigarettes within six months.  Teens are overexposed to ads: 53% in retail, 36% on the internet, 34% on TV and 25% in magazines and newspapers.  They see more e-cigarette ads than they see their family at the dinner table. 

Asking legislators to protect us always accompanies some losses of freedom.  Sure, smokers know that smoke-free zones can be a hassle but they smoke fewer cigarettes.  As a pack of cigarettes reaches $15 in major cities, smoking has even decreased. But we are adults and can handle our addictions and consequences.  The same can’t be said of teens. Call on your Congressional representatives to protect your kids from the smoker’s fate. Ask for e-cigarettes to be amended to the 1970 law to protect them now, in their future and every Sunday night when they think it’s their final vape or drag.  It’s our responsibility as US citizens to protect our future. 

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