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The small flashdrive-resembling vape called the JUUL is now discontinuing most of their flavored pods and upping their age requirement. The FDA is now regulating “juuling.”

E-cigarettes were originally sold with the intention of helping people stop smoking. They were branded as a healthier alternative, and you could control the level of nicotine you were inhaling. JUUL was invented in 2015, but wasn’t popularized until the end of 2017 when it became the most popular e-cigarette.

Each JUUL pod is 5 percent nicotine, which is about how much nicotine is in a whole pack of cigarettes. Instead of helping people with a nicotine addiction stop smoking, it has become trendy to give yourself a nicotine addiction with a JUUL.

Discontinuing the flavor pods and increasing the age requirement is good for the sake of the nicotine-addicted youth. America was slowly moving away from cigarettes until e-cigarettes were invented. Once you get addicted to nicotine, it’s difficult to stop, which is why the industry is still alive.

When cigarettes were first popularized, they were advertised toward women to help them lose weight and toward men for them to look “cool.” People didn’t truly know the risks behind smoking until the 1950s. Tobacco companies weren’t required to put warning labels on their products until ‘65. Cigarettes were in fashion, just like JUULs are today. These companies are profiting off of people’s addictions.

Just like the cigarette, e-cigarettes are seen as being cool. JUULs are small and easy to carry around so you can vape at all times. With a cigarette, you have to go outside and take time to have a smoke break. With a JUUL, you can do it anywhere at anytime because they don’t smell like smoke and they don’t let out a huge amount of smoke. High schoolers can vape and charge their JUULs in class without the teacher even knowing because it looks like a flashdrive.

Raising the required age from 18 to 21 for purchase will keep them out of the hands of high schoolers. Children as young as 15 are using JUUL products because older high schoolers are buying it for underclassmen. When the age is raised, no high schoolers will be able to buy JUUL products at all, which will keep younger children from starting a nicotine habit.

The FDA is doing the right thing. Instead of poisoning the lungs of our youth and starting them on a path to addiction, the FDA is actually doing something to help. Even though we banned mango flavored JUUL pods before semi-automatic rifles, it is still a step in the right direction to keep children safe.

Ashlon Lusk is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from Houston, Texas.

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