New York’s Attorney General said the state is taking action to stop minors from vaping. Leticia James announced a lawsuit against e-cigarette company, Juul Tuesday. She says the company’s advertising specifically targets young people.
“There is no doubt that Juul the largest e-cigarette company is causing this addiction,” James said. “In fact, they hold 70% of the market.”
According to the Clinton County Health Department, nearly one third of students there are vaping.
“What we’re seeing is quite a number of youth who never smoked before who are now vaping,” said Karen Derusha, supervising public health educator for the Clinton County Health Department.
Derusha agrees that the marketing tactics used by e-cigarette companies, like various flavor options, have attracted youth.
“The promotion of vaping products as a safer alternative gave people a false sense of security that this was a safe product,” she said.
Many vape products contain nicotine, causing teens to easily become addicted. It’s also a problem for educators who say students are constantly vaping at school.
“The biggest thing with the vaping smell is much different, it’s much easier to conceal,” said Jim Manchester, assistant principal of Plattsburgh High School.
Administrators at Plattsburgh High School say they’ve looked into vaping detectors for bathrooms. With vaping-related illnesses on the rise, they say they’re taking precautions for students’ health.
“It’s not just the concern of we don’t want it in our school, but there’s now a lot of kids who are developing serious health concerns,” Manchester said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Juul said the company has not yet reviewed the complaints but is working with officials to, “Combat underage use.”
They also said that the company’s customer base is adult smokers and they, “Do not intend to attract underage users.”Juul has stopped selling one of their popular flavors and has suspended advertising in the U.S.