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Editorial

Vape companies face challenges with marketing strategies

November 20, 2019

There has been recent controversy over whether or not flavored vape juice should remain available to consumers in the United States. Some vaping companies have made decisions to stop sales and production of various flavored juices. 

The vape company JUUL has recently stopped production and sales of many flavored pods. President Donald Trump has also touched on the issue and had originally put forth a plan to ban all flavored vaping products. Trump has since back tracked on his initial stance. 

Over the past decade, the use of vaping has grown so immensely that it has even been referred to as an epidemic. Electronic cigarettes or vapes were originally introduced to the U.S. market around the early 2000s and the products have gained popularity since, according to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association.

The overall use of vaping has come into question more seriously in recent months because of new found vaping-related illnesses that has lead to death in some users. There is still a question of what is causing these illnesses but as of right now, several health departments are urging patients to stop the use of vaping products, according to the Wisconsin Health Department. 

Vaping advertising has also been problematic. Some view these advertisements as controversial because they appear to be targeting a younger audience. Ads show colorful backgrounds with young smiling models holding their juul proudly. Additionally, by having flavored juice, children may be more likely to be attracted to the products with flavors such as bubble gum, blue raspberry and watermelon. 

Juul is currently involved in several lawsuits that are claiming that their advertisements are targeting young audiences, according to an article from CNN. The concerns are that the company is advertising the vape products in a way that deceives a young audience, attracting them with fun flavors and pictures, but masking the potential risks.  

These products are meant to be sold exclusively to adults. When the products are being purchased, identification should be presented. If minors are seeking out these products, that is not necessarily the responsibility of the vaping companies, but perhaps the responsibility of parents and family environment. 

The Student Voice staff understands both sides of the argument. Advertising to target minors is wrong and irresponsible. However, the consensus was that if these products are made specifically for adult consumers, they should be able to have flavored products. If children are coming into contact with vape products, we believe this is an issue that should be addressed in the home, and not at the vape shop.