While the government may be considered Big Brother, a team of researchers in California is officially as . Parents.
The researchers began to sniff through high schools to gain a better understanding of their weaponry and smoking habits. The results of the "garbology" study are presented in the October 11 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report .
The Gumshoes – Jeremiah Mock and Yogi Hendlin of the University of California, San Francisco – scanned the parking lots and perimeter of 12 public high schools in the San Francisco Bay area between July 2018 and April 2019. They picked up all the garbage related to e-cigarettes, flammable tobacco products and cannabis products that the suspected teens with trash left behind.
They collected 893 items. Of these, 620 were cigarette butts, 172 were e-cigarette related waste (almost all Juul products), 87 were small or cigar related, and 14 were cannabis related.
Almost all of Juul-related rubbish was found in schools with predominantly upper and middle income students. Mock and Hendlin reported the majority of cigar and cigarillo junk from schools with predominantly African American and Latino students.
Whatever the teens inhaled, they favored heavily flavored products, the duo concluded. Of the 74 Juul- or Juul-compatible pods with flavor labels they found, only one was tobacco flavor. The others ranged from mint flavor (64%) and mango (25%) to a few Crème Brulee and Fruit Medley pods. Similarly, a majority of cigar and cigarillo products were flavored.
While the researchers asked for more policies to combat teenage use of tobacco, they noted that "[y] transcends the use of flavored tobacco products, including mint and all other mentally-flavored flavors, are particularly worrying. "
Their report lands in the midst of a firestorm around e-cigarettes that was triggered by both an" epidemic "of teenage use of the products and a rash of serious lung injuries related to guns.
Food and Drug Administration has cracked down on e-cigarette manufacturers and sellers – especially Juul – and accused them of marketing to teens and bait them with child-friendly tastes. The Trump administration last month said it is working on a ban on flavored e-cigarette products to solve the problem. Many states and local governments, including the state of Washington and San Francisco, have already moved to ban e-cigarette flavors or e-cigarettes all – much to the dismay of vapers trying to quit traditional cigarettes.
Meanwhile, the CDC, FDA and state health departments are investigating a nationwide outbreak of lung damage related to guns. As of October 8, the CDC has counted 1,299 confirmed and probable cases in 49 states, including 26 deaths. Although it is unclear what causes the diseases, investigators have focused on counterfeit and black market products. Most of the patients have reported evaporated THC-containing products (76% of 573 patients for whom adequate data are available).
Interestingly, both of these problems appear to be somewhat unique to the United States. For example, the UK – which has embraced e-cigarettes as a way to wean smokers off traditional cigarettes, while also adopting stricter regulations on their use and nicotine levels – has not had an increase in teen use or an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses.
As an article in Vice recently pointed out, the contrast is even stronger in light of the fact that several hospitals in the UK have even allowed vape shops to operate on their properties. Such conditions now seem out of place in the states, amid the "full-gas panic in Washington," as Vice put it.
Brad Rodu, professor of medicine at the University of Louisville and expert on tobacco addiction. damage reduction, noted the outlet, "I think the difference between the UK and the US is due to the American propensity to make health problems a moral crusade."