Flavored e-cigarettes are temporarily banned in the State of New York

College kids are still Juuling, despite recent vaping-related deaths.

Amongst students with their heads deep in the books, the air in the James A. Cannavino Library is graced by periodic, faint smoke clouds. That’s because nearly half of those students are hitting a “Juul,” a big-brand e-cigarette with a sleek design and matte finish — similar to those of the Mac notebooks they’re typing on.

But the Mobil gas station across Rt. 9 won’t be selling them for much longer, according to a recent ban in New York State — at least for 90 more days.

An emergency executive action from Governor Andrew Cuomo put a temporary ban on flavored e-cigarettes, besides menthol, on Sunday, Sept. 15. owing to the rising concerns of vaping-related lung disease fatalities.

According to the CDC on Sept. 19., number of vaping-related illnesses has climbed to 530 and seven deaths as federal and state health officials continue searching for the cause of the outbreak.

“College kids Juul because they are addicted,” said an anonymous Marist student and frequent vape-user. “People are still addicted and they don’t Juul because they think it’s good for them. So I don’t think the news will have any large effects on people’s habits.”

Nobody can drop a nicotine addiction in the span of hours when the news broke, after hanging onto such a nasty habit for some years.
— Anonymous Marist Student

“I continue with the product with hesitation,” said another anonymous Marist student and Juul consumer. “Nobody can drop a nicotine addiction in the span of hours when the news broke, after hanging onto such a nasty habit for some years.”

New York is the first state to implement a temporary ban on flavored e-cigarettes, and the ban will be effective for the next 90 days. Once the 90-day period is over, the council can vote to extend it another 90 days, according to a recent New York Post article by Bernadette Hogan ‘17 and Gabrielle Fonrogue.

Before the rising concern in vaping-related illness, no one really knew much about flavored e-cigarettes — if they were better than smoking cigarettes or if they were way worse. They’re something no one has ever seen before, sporting a minimalist design that’s an easy-target to trendy teens.

“I think that most kids who Juul started before there was any evidence of the side effects,” said the second student. “With that being said, I think most people like myself figured that if there were to be any side effects, it wouldn’t even compete with the effects of cigarettes.”

To most college-aged kids, hitting the Juul is a lot sexier than lighting up a tar-stick. But for them, smoking cigarettes didn’t even come first, owing to their marketing habits.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration investigated Juul and other e-cigarette companies’ tendency to use minors as their target markets, selling fruit flavored pods unrelated to loosening nicotine reliance. “We will advance legislation to eliminate deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to youth,” Governor Cuomo said on Twitter.

“It was just a matter of time,” the first Marist student said. “If you thought there were no health side effects to inhaling smoke, and you quit because people are dying now, you need to open your eyes. People’s addictions are stronger than their fears.”

But Marist students aren’t only opting for mango and creme brulee-flavored vape pods. “Menthol is the only flavor I like,” that student continued.

“The company should have been held to a higher ethical standard and should have done proper research before releasing the product,” said the second student. “And then, targeting the younger generation.”

Tara GuaimanoComment