Since this generation was young, an incredibly negative light has been shined on cigarettes. Percentages of smokers from the previous generation to this generation went down drastically, and commercials came out to ensure the end of smoking for teenagers, specifically from the Truth Initiative. But out of nowhere, a new epidemic broke out. We settled thinking we were doing better than our parents, but in actuality, some of us are doing worse in terms of nicotine consumption. 

    The Truth Initiative is responsible for “truth,” a national anti-tobacco campaign aimed at the youth. Whenever this campaign finally started becoming more prominent, it was celebrating the success of this age group. It came out with commercials of webstars throwing money and puppets partying because of the drastic fall in teenage smoking, telling us to keep up the good work. This age group grew up terrified or tremendously disgusted with these cancer-sticks. While they stayed away from lighters and tobacco, teens have now resorted to a USB-look-alike that can contain 10 times as much nicotine and only requires a charger. 

    For the past couple of years, people have been trying to adapt to the new epidemic sweeping the teenage nation, vaping and juuling. On a federal level, President Donald Trump has made strides to ban flavored e-cigarette pods. More than 60 percent of device-users also smoke cigarettes and are two times more likely to begin smoking cigarettes, and even nicotine-free smoking flavors contain dangerous chemicals in their syrups.

    Tobacco companies took advantage of our parents, and now they continue to terrorize our generation by releasing something else that they knew would catch youth’s attention. Tobacco companies were restricted from radio, television and billboard advertisements, but vapes are not. These companies tricked youth by releasing new devices that look nothing like cigars or cigarettes, and one of these pods can hold up to 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine. The companies changed the names from e-cigarettes to juuls or vapes to get rid of the negative connotation with them. Furthermore, the substances smell nothing like the smoke of cigarettes that we have grown up smelling and relenting on adults growing up. Instead, we are presented with ‘strawberry shortcake,’ ‘eucalyptus mint’ or ‘fruity pebbles.’ 

    In actuality, ‘strawberry shortcake’, ‘eucalyptus mint’ and ‘fruity pebbles’ can all lead to lung diseases, respiratory problems and serious addiction. Experts have reported a spike in health cases related to vaping and juuling after this summer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported it is looking into about 200 vape-related cases of lung diseases. And even if a person were to educate themselves by looking at the ingredients on the box that flavored pods come in, these do not tell the full truth. Many ingredients in the vape oil are not listed on the products. These devices were cleared for sale, but there is barely any research on the effects it can have on the human body or how detrimental these chemicals are together. 

    Vaping and juuling have only been around for a decade and only recently became popular in our age group. Because of this, doctors across the nation have stated that no one can be certain of the long-term effects of the new chemicals and devices. This generation is, in short, being used as experiments at mercy to these e-cigarettes.