U.S. Ban on E-cigarettes and Vaping

Written by Jennifer Clark
Posted September 25, 2019

Vaping and e-cigarettes have become a big problem for the U.S. In fact, President Donald Trump's administration has already banned flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine pods because of recent vaping deaths. To date, there have been a reported eight deaths associated with vaping-related lung disease. These eight deaths have alarmed the entire nation, even more so now that Trump’s administration has put these bans in place.

However, these deaths are not linked to legal e-cigarettes. According to Food and Drug Administration investigators, the more than 500 confirmed cases of lung disease in dozens of states seem to be linked to illegal cartridges, mostly using marijuana derivatives that have been emulsified with vitamin E acetate. But, despite the FDA’s findings, the government also wants to ban legally manufactured e-cigarettes. 

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The retail giant, Walmart, has announced that it will stop selling e-cigarettes in its U.S. locations. Walmart isn’t taking any risks and doesn’t want to be associated with the vaping-related lung disease that has affected more than 500 people and has taken the lives of eight. Walmart said this in a statement on Friday:

Given the growing federal, state, and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products at all Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. locations. We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory.

Walmart’s (NYSE: WMT) decision to stop selling e-cigarettes may not affect the vaping industry and companies like Juul. It (and other e-cigarette companies) actually earns most of its sales from independent vaping shops and convenience stores. Walmart’s decision to stop selling most likely comes at a time when the company would rather not be caught up in any more bad press.

There have been no reported cases of death or illness outside of North America, but other countries are taking preemptive action. India recently joined 27 other countries in banning e-cigarettes, and China is considering enforcing stricter regulations on e-cigarette use. However, U.K. public health officials endorse e-cigarettes as an alternative way of quitting smoking. 

Is the Real Problem Being Ignored?
While I do believe there is still a lot to be discovered about the health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping, I think that the government is overstepping and should be focusing on how and why these people are getting their hands on black-market vaping pods. Cracking down on those individuals selling black-market products should be a priority. 

The long-term effects of vaping are still unknown and these bans on the e-cigarette industry are based more on panic and assumptions than evidence of prolonged impact. Yes, I agree that the government should make stricter policies to reduce vaping usage among children and teenagers. Obviously, we shouldn’t allow younger generations to partake in something that could harm them. People who choose to vape and use e-cigarettes should be old enough to recognize and understand the possible outcomes. There's an age limit on alcohol and tobacco, so there should be an age limit on these newer products.

It is interesting to see that after eight deaths the government is banning a product even though the CDC has reported that smoking traditional cigarettes is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year. Is banning a newer industry and taking down e-cigarette companies easier than banning tobacco companies that have been around for decades? 

There is a lot to consider when discussing these recent bans. Are we focusing on the wrong problem? Why do people have more access to these black-market products and feel the need to buy them more than products manufactured by reputable companies? Another question we should be asking: Are we ignoring the tobacco industry’s impact on the health of the American people by focusing on a newer, increasingly popular industry that is threatening Big Tobacco?

Until next time,

Jennifer Clark
Pro Trader Today
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