“Hey man, can I hit your Juul?”
At the risk of sounding like the DARE program, seven words is all it takes to get a nicotine addiction. Almost every student at Carolina has come into contact with vaping, the newest innovation from the tobacco industry.
Now, on the heels of six recorded deaths strongly linked to these e-cigarettes, the FDA has announced plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes from the market. While the Editorial Board recognizes that e-cigarettes should be avoided, the scientific community doesn’t know enough about the risks of vaping to justify a ban.
There is no question that e-cigarettes are harmful. In the past year alone, the CDC has identified at least 380 cases of lung illness linked to vaping. While they cannot pinpoint what specifically is responsible, they believe the illnesses are likely to be connected to these products. However, because e-cigarettes rose to prominence so quickly, the CDC has not finished its investigation and much uncertainty remains.
While we know e-cigarettes are harmful, we can’t necessarily prove that they cause illnesses. The CDC has not had enough time to establish causality, and there are suspicions that the problem lies elsewhere. The CDC notes that most of the afflicted individuals reported vaping THC, which many have pointed to as a likely culprit.