In recent news, President Donald Trump proposed a minimum age of 21 for using e-cigarette products. Trump previously expressed his support to ban vaping. However, he changed his mind as he believes the ban will lead to a rise in the black market. As the country took a big hit due to vaping illness, this action may be a good move by the government.
What do people think?
A White House session on the matter had representatives from the vaping industry, Congress, and health advocates. Some of the attendees include Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite and officials of the largest US tobacco companies. The attendees also included vaping industry experts Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, and Tony Abboud, executive director of the Vapor Technology Association.
The meeting gave the administration an opportunity to listen from all sides of the argument. While addressing the session, Trump expressed his concern about the riskier products in the black market. Trump suggested the minimum age of 21 for purchasing or using non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes to safeguard the teens.
Trump added, “If you don’t give it to them, it is going to come here illegally, they could be selling something on a street corner that could be horrible.”
Conley expressed his satisfaction at Trump’s suggestion as he doesn’t see prohibition as the only solution. Even though the decisions might affect the industry, the gathering appeared to agree that vaping is not acceptable for people under 21 years.
Vaping crisis in the US
As per the reports of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 2,290 cases of lung illness related to vaping have been recorded. Out of this, 15% of patients were under the age of 18 and 38% of patients were between the age group 18 to 24 years old. In addition to this, 47 vaping related deaths in 25 states have been confirmed.
As per the CDC report, vitamin E acetate is the cause of this concern. The chemical is a thickening agent in THC e-cigarette products. Vitamin E acetate normally is not harmful when it is used in treating the skin or ingested as a vitamin. The research implies inhaling the vitamin can harm regular lung functions.
The US vaping market
As per Grand View Research, the global market size for e-cigarettes and vapes was valued at $10,261.8 million in 2018. The forecasts for market growth is 24.9% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for the next five years. According to the report of the World Health Organization, the number of people who vape is about 41 million in 2018. The number of vapers is expected to reach 55 million in five years.
John Dunham & Associates’ report suggests that a ban in the vaping market might claim more than 150,000 jobs. In addition to this, it might result in the closure of 13,480 stand-alone retail stores in the country.