Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania attorney general filed suit against Juul Labs Inc. for “unscrupulous marketing tactics.” According to a recent newsletter, Pennsylvania Rep. Pam Snyder is highly in favor of the crackdown on Juul.
“Too many of our youngsters are using these vaping devices,” Snyder said. “Many of them, and their parents, may not know just how dangerous they are.”
Snyder visited every school district within Greene County to discuss the dangers of vaping for children.
“… But the reality is, just like in the 1970s and 1980s when Camel cigarettes had ‘Joe Cool’ and it was marketed to young kids to try and get them to smoke cigarettes, Juul is doing the same thing now with e-cigarettes and vaping,” Nate Regotti, chief of staff for Rep. Pam Snyder, said.
Regotti explained the issue with Juul’s marketing attempts towards younger generations. Regotti said Juul places over 50% of their advertisements online and on social media platforms, which are viewed heavily by younger audiences. The advertisements also feature young people using the product and offer a variety of flavorful, tasteful options that may appeal to the youth.
“They are not marketing to an 80-year-old person trying to quit smoking by buying social media ads,” Regotti said. “They are clearly trying to entice young people to use their products.”
Towards the end of 2019, President Donald Trump announced a nationwide ban on these fun-flavored e-cigarette products.
“What you may not know is just how easily these devices can mimic flash drives, making them easy for youngsters to hide from their parents and caregivers,” Snyder said in a November news release. “Even though scientists are still trying to fully understand the myriad of health impacts surrounding vaping, what we do know is that it can have serious health consequences.”
Snyder has offered a brochure to help combat this new addiction titled “Vaping and E-Cigarette Information: What You Should Know.” This provides a resource to children, adults and parents to help inform them of the risks.
“I want to ensure parents, teachers and youngsters are aware of the health dangers, but also know where to go for additional information in the community,” Snyder said.
Also to combat vaping, the state departments of Conservation & Natural Resources and Health announced a ban in February on all forms of tobacco, vaping and e-cigarettes within 30 feet of state park playgrounds. The state park playground ban aims to eliminate children’s exposure to secondhand smoke at 135 locations in the state’s 121 parks, according to a recent newsletter by Snyder.
Recently, the smoking age was raised nationwide from 18 to 21. According to Regotti, this will make it more difficult for minors to get a hold of these products. Regotti said it is more likely for a 16 year-old high school student to be friends with an 18-year-old than a 21-year-old.
“We believe the attorney general is correct when he says [Juul Inc.] lied to the American people about the way they’ve promoted their product as safe and manipulated consumers into thinking that this is a way to stop smoking,” Regotti said. “There are no studies, no proof that juuling or e-cigarettes are safer or a good way to get off of actual cigarettes.”
Regotti said Snyder encourages anyone struggling with addiction to contact their local drug and alcohol department.