This is just the latest move by the successful vaping manufacturer aimed at curbing concern their products attract students
For as long as vaping has been visible in the public eye, questions about their effect on teens have run rampant. Some see acceptance of vaping for its smoking cessation benefits as a gateway to traditional smoking. They believe legitimization of vaping convinces kids that tobacco isn’t really that bad. Luckily, a growing number of experts and public health officials agree that while not 100% harmless, e-cigarettes could be a vital tool in the continued fight against smoking.
The growing consensus has not slowed concerns from the public and media about the true nature of vaping. The questions inevitably fall on the manufacturer’s who are forced to take a stance on the perceived issue. Juul Labs has been stepping up and doing their part as the newly crowned kings of cig-a-like vaping. Just this week they announced a public service campaign that would seek to educate parents about their products and how they ensure they stay out of their children’s hands. However, their contributions to quelling any lingering concern have not stopped there.
Juul Labs Leads The Way
The campaign announced by Juul Labs is set to take place sometime this month. According to their release, the series of print, radio, and online advertisements will be found in “select markets” by the end of June. According to the company, the contents of the ads will be mainly focused on explaining their products contain nicotine, which is a habit-forming chemical. However, overall they’ll be emphasizing their goal is to help as many of the estimated one billion adult smokers around the world kick their habit for good, meaning if you do not already smoke, they don’t want you to start vaping.
Kevin Burns, the CEO of Juul Labs, said in an accompanying statement, “This campaign further builds on our ongoing efforts to raise awareness and combat teenage use, and we believe providing transparent and factual information to parents will help keep Juul out of the hands of young people.” This is evidenced by their recent pledge of $30 million to fund research aiming help combat the growing concern over teenage vaping.
Numbers On Teen Vaping
While it is fantastic to see a company take charge and handle a potential problem before they are forced to, actual statistics on teenage vaping shows there might not be as much of a problem as some may think. Last summer Public Health England published a study on the potential connection between e-cigarettes and traditional smoking. The researchers interviewed over 60,000 students between the ages of 11-16 regarding their vaping and concluded that there is no connection between picking up a vaporizer and eventually starting to smoke. In fact, their numbers indicated only between 0.1% and 0.5% of never smoking teens even vape on a regular basis, let alone end up smoking.
Going back a bit further, there’s evidence suggesting not only is vaping not a gateway to smoking, but it is actually a roadblock. A study conducted by the UK Centre for Substance Use Research of vapers between the ages of 16 and 25 found vaping lessened the drive to smoke. According to the lead researcher, Dr. Neil McKeganey, an overwhelming majority of vapers saw smoking in a very negative light and believe it to be entirely separate from smoking, highlighting the mental separation of the two.
Simply put, vaping is not harmless. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact a growing number of experts see it as a critical piece to the fight against tobacco. The evidence is only mounting for the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes. As many in the vaping community already know, Public Health England published a study in 2015 that concluded vaping was at least 95% safer than smoking. We’re even starting to fully understand how useful vaping can be as a smoking cessation tool. A study published by the University of Louisville indicated vaping is the single best tool we have to get problem smokers off the habit for good.
But it is equally important that we do our due diligence to protect the youth. As Juul Labs seems aware, it all starts with education. We must support and spread the knowledge that vaping is a harm reduction tool, not a toy for teens to test flavors. It is possible to support the value of vaping while still acknowledging a potential risk. Juul Labs is doing their part to both support the numerous health benefits of vaping, while simultaneously helping keep their devices out of the hands of minors.
Do you think it is a good idea for Juul Labs to be spending money to fight teen vaping? Do you believe that acceptance of vaping leads more kids to pick up cigarettes? How can we best support vaping while still protecting the youth? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.