‘Juul’ – fad or fatal?

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ‘JUUL’

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In November 2019, ‘Juul’, one of the biggest and most successful vaping companies in the US, was accused of advertising teen vaping. The state of New York has filed a lawsuit against the firm, accusing them of “misinterpreting the safety of its products and targeting teens in advertisements”, according to the Attorney General of New York.

However, one of the company’s spokesmen has stated that their intended customers are adult smokers only and not underage users. Nevertheless, this seems questionable due to their advertisement which includes and therefore seems to target young adults. Many politicians have spoken out on the matter including the president. According to the New York Post he had planned to nationally ban flavoured e-cigarettes in September. However, Trump has backed out of the plan, explaining he wanted to avoid possible job losses.

In response to the lawsuit filed against them, Juul aims to implement various changes and has employed a new chief executive. One of these changes is that the firm has said they would only sell tobacco flavoured products this month and not include mint flavours, as these seem to target teens. Furthermore, this case represents a real issue in our current society. According to the FDA there are more than 3.6 million adolescent e-cigarette smokers in the United States alone. Therefore, one can conclude that vaping is very popular among the youth and could be described as a trend. E-cigarettes were created as an alternative for smoking and were therefore designed for ex-smokers who were trying to stop smoking. However, the intention has been lost between all the cases of teen vaping. Additionally, there have been more than 2,000 lung injuries linked to vaping in the US this year (the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) and many more recorded in other countries. Companies like Juul captivate teens by advertising vaping as a trend and by glamorising it. Many teens often neglect the fact that e-cigarettes could also contain harmful substances like nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical which may lead to issues with dependence and addiction later on. This raises the question if it is appropriate to market e-cigarettes as the safe alternative to smoking, especially when teens see these ads and are easily influenced by them.

 

Overall, vaping has caused several serious health problems and seems to be more dangerous than how it is advertised. A clear fact that supports this is that vaping has not been around for too long and has already been linked to many lung problems. This is concerning as the consequences of traditional smoking seem to become present decades after people start smoking, whereas vaping has already caused numerous health issues. Concluding, firms like Juul, when creating their advertisement, should take into account how vulnerable teens are to information provided by modern media and technology.