Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

FDA: “End vaping or die trying”

A list of things I won’t be able to complete in the next 60 days: complete a single term of school, train for a marathon, go through an entire gallon of milk, visit all three of my siblings, read my entire Constitutional Law textbook, pass any standardized test, buy more than one new pair of shoes or get a passport. While some of these things aren’t possible for me because of my lifestyle and choices, they all are things that can’t be done within a time-frame as short as two months. Yet the FDA expects vape manufacturing companies to end minors’ vaping habits in just that amount of time.
The FDA has issued several fines to businesses like gas stations and convenience stores to try and stop the sale of these products to minors, but they didn’t have the luck they expected. Their next step was to issue an ultimatum to a few major vape production companies. The threat told companies that if they couldn’t prove their ability to keep their product away from minors in 60 days, the FDA would remove their products from the market altogether or issue civil and criminal charges against them.
60 days. Two months. 8.5 weeks. Without stopping, that’s enough time to watch Grey’s Anatomy only four and a half times. That show’s on its fifteenth season of around 23 episodes each and you could only watch it four times in the same span of time that a few major companies are expected to end an epidemic they barely had a hand in starting. The absurdity is comparable to that of a blue whale washing up in the middle of Nebraska.
Blaming companies and products like Juul and Blu for getting teens hooked on nicotine is the FDA’s way of throwing confetti at a wall with a few spots of glue and hoping something sticks. The companies themselves aren’t selling the products to minors, and the legality of their product makes their selling in bulk to stores like Walgreens and 7-Eleven nothing more than a good business plan. The ways that the products end up in the hands of teens isn’t wholeheartedly on the vape companies themselves.
The ultimatum came as an effort by the FDA to save developing brains from nicotine addiction. I disagree with getting supple young minds addicted to drugs as much as the next person, but the research shows that young brains are supple until age 26. Cracking down on minors’ use of the product is hypocritical compared to the legalization of it for 18-26 year olds. The FDA’s plan itself is obviously ludacris, but even their rationalization for their ferocious approach is weak and ridiculous. It’s like they were asking for it to collapse. They basically built a house of cards on the San Andreas Fault.
There’s no one person or thing to blame for the problem at hand, so unless the FDA expects these companies to change social norms, constructs and pressures before the end of autumn, they should plan for disappointment.

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FDA: “End vaping or die trying”