Why curbs on youth vaping can succeed

The latest U.S. campaign on teen use of e-cigarettes is an example of global efforts to safeguard the innocence of children.

Signage for Juul vaping products is seen on a storefront in New York City.

When world leaders gather this month in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, high on the agenda will be a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The pact has helped focus global attention on ways to safeguard children and their innocence, whether in war zones, sex trafficking, border crossings, or even in front of video games. In Britain, the government has a new initiative to curb youth gambling.

One of the latest efforts is the protection of youth from e-cigarette use, or vaping, which has become an “epidemic” in the United States. On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered vaping giant Juul to stop making unproven claims for its products.

“Juul has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation’s youth,” said acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. In recent testimony to Congress, two students told of Juul representatives saying in a school forum that their products are totally safe.

In 2018 e-cigarette use among American high school students was 21%, an increase of 78% over 2017. This rapid increase is the fastest rate ever recorded for an addictive substance, according to a survey funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

If the rise in youth vaping continues, U.S. health officials say they will take more aggressive action. The FDA has proposed regulations on e-cigarettes that would restrict their sales in most stores. Juul claimed last year that it had stopped marketing its products directly to youth. But the FDA points to subtle messaging or false claims that still draw children to take up the habit.

The agency now says any benefits that e-cigarettes might provide in reducing tobacco use among adults are outweighed by the rise of their use among teens as well as reports of recent deaths attributed to vaping. A number of cities have banned sales of e-cigarettes. This year, Michigan became the first state to ban flavored versions of the product.

This effort in the U.S. has plenty of examples of success in protecting children from harm. Worldwide, for example, the number of girls and boys doing hazardous work is down from two decades ago. Since 2014, a U.N. campaign has freed more than 100,000 child soldiers in conflict zones.

The 1989 treaty on the rights of the child marked a big step for humanity. The pact was the most rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. This global awakening helped compel countries to act quicker when threats to children arise. The outcry over teen vaping in the U.S. and the government’s crackdown show the near-universal presumption of innocence for all children.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Why curbs on youth vaping can succeed
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today