As youth vaping continues to decline, when will FDA finally admit the so-called “epidemic” is over?
Ask any adult vaper and they will tell you without a doubt, flavours are crucial in quitting and staying off combustible cigarettes.
I remember back in 2013 when I picked up a vaping device. I used a “tobacco” flavored e-liquid for about 2 weeks. Then, something changed my taste buds and sense of smell. I no longer wanted something that reminded me of smoking. Actually, I couldn’t stand the taste anymore. Anything that reminded me of smoking was not appealing to me. I quickly switched to a pina colada flavoured e-liquid. Then I moved on to other flavors like strawberry peach, coffee, blueberry donut, and many more. This experience was fun for me, as it kept vaping interesting for me and the options were endless. This truly made vaping not only a way out of smoking for good, but it kept me from even thinking about ever being a “smoker” again.
With that in mind, as the numbers continue to decline with youth use and the “flavors attract kids” narrative is thrown out the window, why won’t the FDA admit this “crisis” is over?
Teenagers are going to experiment; this is how it has always been. If that were not the case, I never would have picked up a cigarette at 15 years old or tried my Mom’s wine. Why punish adults that rely on these products to stay off of combustibles just to “save the youth” when, in reality, the focus should be not on youth vaping numbers, but on the decrease in youth smoking.
Numbers coming from public health are based on youth trying vaping once in 30 days. Just one time and you are considered a vaper. They are clearly asking in this way that allows public health to inflate these numbers to fit the narrative of their choosing.
As numbers continue to decline, the real question is: how will public health possibly be able to carry this reasoning to ban flavors or vaping in general? How can they continue to use this data when the data no longer fits the narrative?
Will we ever be able to bridge this gap between real life adult users and public health in the US and come to a compromise that benefits everyone?
My hope is that one day we will. For the sake of public health, we must.
Written by Allison Boughner