There is some compelling evidence to suggest that vaping from e-cigarettes often paves the way for cannabis use, especially among young people. And in recent news, major e-cigarette maker Juul recently lost a lawsuit over its role in the scary marketing of Juul e-cigarettes to teens.
Unfortunately, the even worse risk, the link between e-cigarette consumption among adolescents and an increase in marijuana use, was not reported.
Juul Corporation will now be held accountable
On June 28, 2021, a breaking news hit the headline, “Juul Pays $ 40 Million in NC Case Over Vaping Damage to Teenagers.” The lawsuit alleged that Juul intentionally made dozen of teenagers addicted to nicotine. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said, “Juul targeted young people, including teenagers, with highly addictive e-cigarettes for years. It lit the spark and kindled the flames of a steamy epidemic among our children – one that can be seen in any high school in North Carolina. ”
Juul was found guilty in this case for many reasons. For one, the company deliberately marketed its products to teenagers, teenagers and young adults, even though Juul e-cigarettes were originally intended as a “safer” alternative for adults who were addicted to tobacco cigarettes. But instead of helping adult tobacco smokers get away from cigarettes, Juul started deliberately getting young people excited about Juul e-cigarette pods, nicotine-rich devices that are harmful to teenagers.
Young people need to be protected from unhealthy and addicting products. From Matthew Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: “The settlement of the North Carolina lawsuit against Juul announced today underscores Juul’s guilt for creating the e-cigarette epidemic among teenagers in the United States and the United States FDA’s responsibility to reject Juul’s motion to continue selling products that put our children at risk. This agreement underscores the role that Juul’s flavored products, including menthol-flavored products, and its nicotine-rich products have played in creating and now perpetuating the youth e-cigarette epidemic. ”
The Link Between Vaping Juul and Marijuana
While the lawsuit discussed above is a step in the right direction, it failed to reveal the sinister connection between young people who are convinced they use electronic cigarettes and the same young people who then smoke marijuana.
Even seemingly mundane addictions like being addiction to nicotine can have consequences.
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Efforts have been made to determine if there is indeed a link between teenage vaping and marijuana use. A research group published a paper in paper in 2019 JAMA Pediatrics suggest such a connection. Citing her research “Use of Electronic Cigarettes (often referred to as.) E-cigarettes) has increased significantly in young people over the past 5 years. E-cigarette use has been linked to higher rates of marijuana use, which has been linked to several negative health outcomes among adolescents. This meta-analysis found a significant increase in the likelihood of past or current and subsequent marijuana use in adolescents and young adults who have used e-cigarettes. ”
“The percentage of college students who reported having vaped marijuana in the past 30 days rose from 5.2% in 2017 to 14% in 2019.”
That JAMA Pediatrics The study cited above isn’t the only one to show a strong link between vaping and marijuana use in young people. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have also reported on it. In their September 2020 press release on the matter, they revealed that “Marijuana vaping and nicotine vaping has increased dramatically in college-age adults (19-22 years old) in the past three years. The percentage of college students who reported having vaped marijuana in the past 30 days increased from 5.2% in 2017 to 14% in 2019. The corresponding percentage for their non-college colleagues increased from 7.8% in 2017 to 17% in 2019. ”As vaping has normalized among young people, the percentage of young people who vape and use marijuana has also increased.
The trend is so widespread that health officials are issuing warnings to the general public. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, quoted: “We are seeing an increasingly worrying trend. Many young people may view vaping and cannabis use as “safer,” but the reality is that nicotine is highly addictive, and cannabis can also be addictive, especially in younger adults with developing brains. “If the trend continues, more and more young people will replace vaping nicotine with vaping marijuana.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a subsidiary of the NIH, published its own documentation on the relationship between young people who vape Juul and other electronic cigarettes and the use of cannabis products within the same population group. According to their research, teenagers who vape are much more likely to use marijuana than teenagers who don’t vape. Overall, young people who used vaping devices (also known as e-cigarettes) were 3.5 times more likely to use marijuana: Young adults (ages 18 to 24) who vaped were 2.3 times more likely to use marijuana. People aged 12 to 17 who vaped were 4.3 times more likely to use marijuana. The distinction seems more than clear. When young people vape electronic cigarette devices, they are much more likely to consume marijuana than their peers who do not experiment with such devices.
Big companies are held accountable; Treat those who got addicted now
Juul’s loss of litigation follows a spate of lawsuits against drug companies over the role they played in creating the opioid epidemic. Are we finally seeing the end of American corporations’ ability to manufacture addictive and dangerous substances while acting beyond the law? Possibly. But this can only be the first step in addressing America’s addiction problem. It doesn’t matter if those who are now drug addicts (teenagers who are addicted to marijuana thanks to e-cigarettes and Americans who are addicted to opiates thanks to drug companies) actually get help.
Once many thought they were above the law, mega-corporations are now being forced to pay and take responsibility for creating addiction epidemics. But addicts are still not getting the help they need, as evidenced by the persistent void in addiction treatment.
If you know someone who is addicted, regardless of the substance, you should get help ASAP. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious crisis that kills tens of thousands each year. Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Make sure your darling gets help today.