In case you haven’t heard, public health authorities in the United States caught on to a weird kind of lung damage syndrome that is strongly associated with vaping (aka “electronic cigarettes”). The syndrome manifests itself as lung damage that is acute and severe, leaving young people with lungs that work at the capacity seen in octagenarians.
There are hundreds of cases and some deaths reported, and we are all working on understanding this phenomenon further and doing something about it.
Speaking of doing something about it, it seems that the federal government is mulling a ban on electronic cigarettes. Some states and local governments have already done it, and it’s making people stock up on their supplies before it happens. So that is likely where this is going… While parents want to protect their kids from damaging their lungs permanently, and while sentiment on smoking is definitely not in its favor, we are probably going to have a nationwide ban on vaping products that are flavored, at the very least.
Personally, I am not in favor of a ban because bans create black markets for these products, making them harder to regulate and assure their safety. In my opinion, it is better to tax them into oblivion, allowing only those with the means to pay through the nose to pay for a safer product. We’ll see how it goes.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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