Research shows that the e-cigarette and vaping epidemic among youth continues to grow due to companies like Juul gaining popularity among teens and young adults. According to HealthDay News, the research published Jan. 21 in JAMA Pediatrics, reports that the number of Americans aged 15 to 34 who said they had tried one of the Juul devices, which look like flash drives, more than doubled between 2018 and 2019.
Rise of Juul and Vaping
The number of Juul users who said they used the device regularly – at least 10 days out of the last 30 – rose to more than one-third during the same time period – from about 26% to nearly 38%, the study found. Current Juul use was highest among youth and young adults. The study was conducted by the anti-tobacco advocacy group Truth Initiative, which released a statement saying youth tobacco use is at its highest in nearly 20 years, primarily driven by e-cigarettes.
This has resulted in more than 5 million youth vaping across the nation, the statement said, adding that decades of progress in the fight against youth tobacco use has been reversed because of e-cigarettes. The new study comes after legal moves on the federal and state level to curb young people’s access to e-cigarettes.
Reports also show that despite the Food and Drug Administration’s social media campaign to raise awareness about the potential harms of vaping among young people, social media users are being exposed to way more pro e-cigarette content especially on sites such as Instagram that are widely used by high school students. In such platforms, e-cigarettes are portrayed as healthier alternatives to regular cigarettes. E-cigarette companies have also been aggressively marketing these products using social media influencers.
Health Effects Are Real
We now know that the health effects of vaping are real. As of Jan. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 57 deaths in 27 states from e-cigarette or vaping-related lung injuries. There have been 2,602 hospitalizations as a result of e-cigarette-related lung injuries nationwide between June 2019 and Jan. 7, according to the CDC.
If you or a loved one has suffered lung injuries that are vaping or e-cigarette related, you may be able to hold the manufacturer, retailer or other parties liable for damages such as medical expenses, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. As product defect attorneys, we find it deeply disturbing that these products continue to be promoted on social media where children and young adults are exposed to them. The industry, instead of warning the public about these dangerous products, is promoting them as safe substitutes for tobacco cigarettes. This is unacceptable, not to mention, unethical. Corporations that put profits before public health should be held accountable.