Why the Government Believes Flavored Vapes Are So Dangerous

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Mar 17, 2024

The chairmen of five Senate committees have called upon the nation’s largest retail and convenience stores to stop selling flavored vapes, which they claim are detrimental to human health.

But just what makes the highly popular flavored vapes so dangerous?

Flavored Vapes Now Sold Everywhere

Nowadays, flavored vapes are sold just about everywhere, from large retailers to gas stations and pop-up shops. 

A selection of flavored vape juices pictured on a small white table

Source: Wikimedia Commons

While the popularity of alternative nicotine products has grown over the past decade, the associated health risks have become more apparent during the same period.

What Are Flavored Vapes?

Flavored vapes have become increasingly popular in recent years due to an array of fruity and addictive flavors. 

A man in a red chequered shirt is pictured vaping as he sits on a green chair

Source: Freepik

While initially promoted as a way to escape the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes and even quit the habit, health experts at Yale Medicine now argue that flavored vapes have their own severe health risks.

Senators Call for a Ban on Flavored Vapes

With the rising concern centering on the adverse health effects of flavored vapes, the chairmen of five Senate committees have called upon America’s largest retailers to stop selling the products. 

Several vapes pictured in a cloud of smoke as they sit on a small table

Source: Freepik

According to The New York Times, the chairmen called the selling of vapes “widespread violations of federal law.”

Senators Voice Concern About Flavored Vapes in a Letter

The senators voiced their concerns in several letters addressed to chief executives of the nation’s largest retailers, including BP America, 7-Eleven, Kwik Trip, and Pilot.

A person is pictured holding a pencil as they write a letter

Source: Freepik

According to their letters, the marketing of sweet, fruity flavors and bright colors attracts kids, and unchecked sales “pose a tremendous public health threat.”

The Industry Must Do More to Protect the Youth

Dick Durbin, one of the senators to sign the letter, suggests the FDA must do more to ensure the flavored vapes stay out of the reach of the nation’s youth.

A young man and woman are pictured vaping as they walk down a street

Source: Freepik

“FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] and the industry must do more to address the youth vaping epidemic and remove unauthorized vaping products from their shelves immediately,” he said (via The New York Times)


Senators Address 7-Eleven Chief Executive

In a letter addressed to 7-Eleven’s chief executive, Joseph DePinto, the senators expressed their concerns over the sale of flavored vapes to young teens. 

A photograph taken at the entrance to a 7-Eleven store

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Today, millions of children use unauthorized e-cigarettes, risking nicotine addiction, respiratory illness, exacerbation of depression and anxiety, and many other harms,” they wrote.


Bernie Sanders and Other Senators Sign the Letters

Alongside Dick Durbin, prominent senators, including Bernie Sanders, Ron Wyden, Sherrod Brown, and Richard Blumenthal, signed the letter. 

Photograph of Bernie Sanders taken during an event

Source: Wikipedia

The senators hope the letters will force large retailers to reconsider how they sell and promote flavored vapes.


Health Concerns Associated with Vaping

Over the past decade, a plethora of new information has become available centered on the potential long-term adverse health effects of vaping.

A woman is pictured vaping as she sits at an outside cafe

Source: Freepik

One recent paper published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests the long-term effects of vaping may severely damage lung tissue and possibly even lead to cancer.


Vape Juices Derived from Chemicals

The study’s lead author, Irfan Rahman, a professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Medicine, emphasized that vape juices have fruit flavors but are derived from harmful chemicals. 

A selection of vape juices in several fruity flavors

Source: Wikimedia

“While names like mango, cucumber, and mint give the impression that the flavors in e-juices are benign, the reality is that these sensations are derived from chemicals,” they said.


Long-Term Damage to the Lungs

According to their report, the chemicals used in the vape liquids can lead to long-term damage to the lungs. 

A man is pictured lying in a hospital bed following a period of sickness

Source: Freepik

They wrote, “These findings indicate that exposure to these chemicals triggers damage and dysfunction in the lungs that are a precursor to long-term health consequences.”


Time to Stop Selling Flavored Vapes to the American Youth

With the ever-increasing awareness of the long-term health effects of vaping, the senators may be correct in suggesting stricter laws must be put into place to ensure they remain out of the reach of American teens. 

Two young women pictured using a long vape pen

Source: Freepik

As things stand, the vaping epidemic among the nation’s youth will ultimately end with several long-term health effects for those who began vaping at a young age.