The cloud of uncertainty surrounding the recent spike of vaping-related deaths may, in fact, smell like mangoes.
Mango was one of the first JUUL flavors to leave the shelves after an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths led to stricter scrutiny of the company that initially made its profit promising to guide people away from nicotine additions.
The company’s pause on retail sales of fruity-flavor JUUL pods is an effort to curb teen vaping, which experienced an explosive growth that coincided with the fall of cigarette usage.
Yet it wasn’t until the first death linked to vaping was reported in Illinois on Aug. 23 that government and health institutions got involved.
Over the past two months, the Trump administration has proposed banning the use of e-cigarettes to restrict popular flavors that attract a younger audience. The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced investigations into the long-term effects of vaping.
We talked to some University of Georgia e-cigarette users to find out why they were vaping and how they became addicted. We also learned about the side effects of e-cigarette usage, and what the ban could possibly mean for the future of vaping.
Here are some numbers to put this situation in context:
26: The national death toll of vaping-related deaths as of Oct. 11.
41 million: The number of vapers in the U.S. in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. This is a 34 million increase from 2011.
36%: A study by the Journal of American College Health found 36% of college students reported having used a JUUL, and 28% of those students recorded current use. JUUL is one of the leading producers of e-cigarettes and has a lucrative investment deal with tobacco company Altria.
200: The amount of puffs from a 5% JUUL pod, which is equal to smoking a 20-count pack of cigarettes, according to its website. E-cigarettes like JUUL’s were created with “cigarette-like” nicotine levels to satisfy adult smokers.
18: The legal age to buy e-cigarettes. 15% of patients reported to have lung illnesses related to vaping are under the age of 18 and 21% are between 18 and 20 years old.