ClearHealthLife criticized Honolulu City Councilors for not aggressively and urgently acting to protect keiki in the islands. I pleaded with Kaua’i County Councilors and mayor months ago to take action. Elected officials are a day late and a dollar short here. We have children leading children.
In the last year alone, we’ve seen a 78% increase in high school students vaping and a 48% increase in middle school students vaping — the largest single year increase in youth tobacco use ever. Why?
Tobacco companies put their researchers and marketers to work using a special strategy focused on kids, like addictive flavors that appeal to children — fruit medley, tutti frutti, gummy bear and cotton candy. Finally, they needed a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to look the other way as their massive empire mushroomed and metastasized. [source]
AltRes, Hawaii’s largest company, Director of Risk Management John Fielding, recently disparaged medical cannabis users claiming they have a vice. These are suffering human beings. While trapped in a reefer madness mental prison and defrauding the general public, local leaders allow our children to be poisoned by one of the most addictive substances on the planet — vaped nicotine.
Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs — maker of bestselling eCig in the U.S. and center of the teen vaping “epidemic” — apologized to parents whose children are addicted to his company’s products: “I’m sorry.”
Does Mr. Burns plan to donate some of his billions in profit to atone for his social sins?
“First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product. It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.”
Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs
Schools across the country search for solutions. Flavors like creme brulee and mango are huge hits among high school and middle school students. They decorate their eCigs with colorful cases and post “Juuling” photos on social media platforms.
Of course, eCigs are banned for youngsters. Right! Kids carry their cellphones and Juuls.
Kids are “more addicted” to Juul than other products because the nicotine levels in their pods are “astronomically high.” Juul pods contain 5% nicotine, whereas other pods averaged between roughly 1% and 2.4%, according to Truth Initiative. Juul now markets lower dosage pods with 3% nicotine for some flavors.
It’s an Epidemic Among Kids
The Food and Drug Administration has declared teen vaping an “epidemic,” as nearly 21% of high school students, about 3 million, vaped last year. Healthcare professionals blame the explosion in teen vaping on Juul.
“Frankly, we don’t know [the impact of chronic vaping] today. We have not done the long-term, longitudinal, clinical testing that we need to do.”
Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs
Nobody knows the long-term effects. Yet government allowed proliferation. Some schools are now forced to install vape detectors. Soter Technologies, a company that makes detectors, says it has received thousands of inquiries and issued more than 1,000 contract proposals for the $995 device. More security; less money for books.
“When we launched Juul, we had a campaign that was arguably too kind of lifestyle-oriented, too flashy. It lasted less than six months. It was in the early days of the product introduction.”
Adam Bowen, Juul
Juul’s critics condemn the company’s initial advertising campaign that featured bright colors and young looking models. They are convinced Juul fueled the surge in teen vaping. Co-founder Adam Bowen says now the ads were “inappropriate.”
FDA Clueless How To Respond
The FDA review process now investigates the net effect on public health — meaning it must consider how many adults will benefit from eCigs compared to how many teens might be harmed — when deciding whether to allow products to stay on the market. Researchers estimate eCigs could help many of the 34.3 million smokers in the U.S.
Brad Thomas, MyCoach Habits LLC, takes issue with the harm-reduction strategy:
What good does vaping do compared to not vaping? It hurts kids and it hurts adults. Some innovations are broadly and overwhelmingly negative. Vaping is one of those.
If we innovate from something that’s already addictive and carcinogenic, into something that’s more convenient, tastier, more sociable and even more addictive but still carcinogenic — how is that innovation a good thing for society AT ALL?
Advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry because of its ability to change perception and behavior, i.e. usurp free will to a degree, JUUL now admits its youthful lifestyle advertising was wrong … teens are highly influenced by their peers too.
If the JUUL CEO was truly “sorry,” he would RESIGN and join the groups currently trying to hold the FDA accountable for this public health disaster. They were either grossly incompetent or corrupt. It needs investigating.
Once again, the FDA believes it had only two options. Legalize or prohibit. When one only has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Some 40 states currently are suing the various makers of opioid pain medications, such as Purdue Pharma. Does the FDA ever get anything right?
The FDA could require these devices be distributed through medical cannabis dispensaries, for example. Adults seeking harm reduction could apply using state Department of Health processes, as medical cannabis patients do today.
Of course, medical cannabis could be used to help reduce the opioid epidemic as well. Some 70,000+ Americans died last year related to opioid pain medication and opioid abuse. Had all used cannabis, none would be dead today.
Summary of DEA, FDA and U.S. Government Policy
 Cannabis prohibited. Arrest and put millions in prison. Nobody has died from cannabis OD. DOT research confirms cannabis is actually safer than alcohol.
 Opioids allowed. As many as 1 in 5 people receive prescription opioids long-term for noncancer pain in primary care settings.
 Vaping eCigs allowed. Epidemic with over 3 million U.S. high school students vaping last year.
Children leading children.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”