Due to the recent rise in vape and e-cigarette usage among those under 18, the Food and Drug Administration has declared a nicotine epidemic among young people. Rather than individuals using vaping to wean themselves off of cigarettes, many students in high school have started vaping (typically using Juul devices), without ever having smoked a cigarette. The devices they use generally contain a higher amount of nicotine than a regular cigarette, which means many of the youth are developing a severe addiction at a young age.
The FDA has passed strict limits on cartridge-style devices, such as Juul pods, which seeks to curb the sale of these devices to anyone under the age of 21. Online sales will still be allowed as long as there is someone 21 or older who signs for the package, just like the with online sale of alcohol. Some view these restrictions as a positive, because now high school students will no longer have easy access to vape kits, but some have cited these limits as a negative.
If Juul pod sales drop, that means growth for big tobacco companies. The FDA is more concerned with the fact that vape-usage jumped up to 77% among high school students in 2018, and about 50% among middle-school students. Keeping a new generation of nicotine addicts from forming seems to be the primary goal with the FDA’s restrictions.
Another new law that recently passed in regards to vaping and e-cigarettes is Amendment 9 in the state of Florida. Vapor-producing devices are no longer allowed in the workplace, except in special circumstances like tobacco shops, bars, and smoking-designated areas. An offshore oil and gas drilling ban also passed on the same Amendment, which had some voters wondering what the correlation is. Lisa Carlton, the woman who authored the e-cigarette proposal, states that “the issues together send a message of clean air, clean water.”
Some argued that marrying the two issues made the Amendment harder to understand, and others claimed it was a form of gerrymandering. Coupling similar issues in one Amendment is usually to the benefit of the voter, but some, like the president of the Florida League of Women Voters, think that bundling these two issues is “laughable.” Vaping has become not only a health concern, but an environmental one as well in recent times, and only time will tell where else e-cigarettes will find new restrictions and limitations.