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Federal Prosecutors Conducting Criminal Probe of Juul (wsj.com)
230 points by mises 23 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 233 comments



True story:

I have two very close younger friends who are practically my little brothers. They come from an established family in Hollywood, and have a very famous actor-dad. The younger brother is about 20 now, and is friends with half of the teen “influencers” on Instagram/YouTube; the older brother is about 22, and hangs with a group of LA kids who are obsessed with the movie American Psycho and dress/look the part — ironic given that their lives are a 2010s version of that book’s author’s other classic, Less Than Zero.

About two years ago, I’m at a club in Hollywood when these two hand me a thick pile of paper, which looks like a legal document. I’m really confused — is someone getting sued? Is this a screenplay? Am I being asked to sign an NDA?

The older brother, in his American Psycho-inspired suit, takes a puff of his vape and then whispers in my ear, “this is the funding prospectus for Juul. Our friends have been invited to invest.”

I looked at the thing. It was crazy. The valuation was well over $1 billion. The growth rate was off the charts. And, looking around at that club in Hollywood, filled with kids vaping in the outdoor area, I realized the numbers made sense. But the fact that a 19 year old Hollywood kid was handing me the funding documents for this company and telling me that his friends had been invited to invest told me that there was something very, very wrong about how Juul got into the hands of all of these young people — it clearly wasn’t an accident.


Maybe you should relay this story to the FTC and the federal prosecutors so they can investigate this and bring Juul to justice.


Having a 19-year old investor/employee at a tobacco company isn't illegal. Not really sure what the prosecutors could glean from this in terms of hard evidence of a crime.


> Not really sure what the prosecutors could glean from this in terms of hard evidence of a crime.

That's why it's called an investigation, you follow leads not knowing whether they will pay off.


[flagged]


It's called an investigation for a reason. You're saying they're suspicious, nothing more.


19 year old kids are still of age, there would be nothing really to investigate.


The question at hand is whether Juul intentionally marketed nicotine to people below 18.

There's pretty strong circumstantial evidence that they did. Building relationships w teenage social media influencers is part of that.

The unfortunate fact is that Juul achieved explosive popularity among high schoolers. It spearheaded a U turn in youth nicotine use rates, which had been declining for a long time and are now way up.

The investigation is here to determine to what extent this was the result of a deliberate strategy.


That they marketed the investment to a 19 year old kid says nothing about whether they marketed anything to those under 18. It isn’t a lead that they FTC could use in any kind of reasonable investigation.

High schoolers during my day smoked a lot, and did a lot of pot. They didn’t need to be marketed to, they will find the bad stuff on their own. Marketing to them directly would actually have the opposite effect (eg nothing promoted drug use more effectively than DARE). I feel like we’ve all become old fogeys that remember nothing about what it was like to be teenagers.


Actually, it's a comment on an Internet forum, which could be a faithfully retold anecdote or a pure fabrication. In fact, if the book were current, I would be more inclined to take that post as an advertisement for the novel 'Less Than Zero', which I may check out later.

You make a good point though, that we somehow expect that kids exist in a vacuum when they are actually full and active participants in society. It is ludicrous to think that Juul's advertising to make their product seem desirable to adults would not also affect young people. It's similarly unrealistic to think that kids wouldn't vape in the absence of any advertising whatsoever.

I wonder what kind of evidence might be uncovered that would prove Juul did something that is clearly illegal. Joe Camel was held to be a cartoon character and therefore an appeal directly to children. In the case of Juul hiring influencers though, perhaps they could analyze the influencers' analytics data and see if they disproportionately reach under-18s, but pure numerics might be hard to sell to a jury without a smoking gun like an email that says "sign Jim Fortnite because he's big with the 14-16 year olds this week".


Investigations can result in a great deal of inconvenience, and occasional retribution from the target. It’s okay to prudently decline to volunteer almost certainly useless information if it doesn’t seem worthwhile.

Edit: it seems to be unclear that this is a pragmatic decision made millions of times a day around the world, and not particular to Juul.


I don't see the conspiracy here. Nicotine is highly addictive, so lots of people use it habitually.


I want the movie rights to your post


Call the movie "Up in Smoke". No, wait, that name's taken.


> No, wait, that name's taken.

Like that ever stopped anyone. :)


Maybe you should delete this, seems identifiable.


Shutting down an opportunity for whistleblowing against a company that knowingly preys on minors using the addictive properties of tobacco products -- because of potentially identifiable information -- seems ludicrous.


Avoiding being identified seems more like "do this but more carefully"?


Ummm...no. He is telling information gained while hanging with his friends. Breach of etiquette and norms to say the least.


There is no identifying information. Could be any actors' sons, could be any of maybe 400 clubs in Hollywood, and anyway that behavior isn't a breach of contract for something like an investment prospectus unless they also had to sign an NDA.


Sometimes, people change enough details to get the point across. Or so I’ve been told.


One thing that gets lost in Juul and vaping supporters is just how bad nicotine addiction is for your personal life. I recently quit nicotine a few months ago and it made a big difference for me.

Nicotine withdrawal kicks in very quick which is why smokers take constant breaks. The anxiety, the grumpiness, irritability and anger you feel as a smoker when you are without nicotine will piss off your partner, make you seem difficult to friends and colleagues and generally just color your world in a dark way.

Juul pods helped me stop smoking for a short period of time but I became an order of magnitude more hooked on nicotine. I work from home and couldn't go more than 15 minutes without sucking on that stupid device.

I quit smoking cold turkey 90 days and it's made a dramatic difference to my mood. I no longer worry about being socially outcast or being judged for blowing vape clouds.


I think the key with vaping (not necessarily with Juul though due to market availability) is that it's very easy to decrease the dosage of nicotine without reducing the fixation amount. For traditional cigarette smoking you want a high amount of nicotine to fill that void (and also to get through the other side of other addictive substances in tobacco beyond nicotine) and to effectively "get hooked" on vaping instead, to the point that normal cigarettes are completely unattractive to you.. Afterwards, decreasing dosage with a vape is super easy, especially if done in a blind way, ie, buying two identical flavors at different dosages (your "normal" and the lower dose) and put them into two carts. Pick a random one each day to use. I've heard of people doing this all the way down to 3mg to get over the lowest dosage hump even. One has no nicotine, the other only has 3mg. Eventually the non-social fixation (ie, at your house alone) stops, and the social fixation (ie, outside of a bar, etc) is controllable with no nicotine... Then that's not even getting into the different ohm ratings etc that further control dosage without affecting the fixation of using the vape.

edit: note I say "easy", but its not a short process.. If you try to go immediately from 48mg to 3mg you won't have a good time. It takes months for each step down


Nicotine's method of action for addiction isn't commonly understood very well. It's extremely specific - nicotine works to make the things you do around the exposure more habitual. If it's slapping on a nicotine patch and going on a run, you're more likely to get into a habit of slapping on a patch and going on a run. If it's taking a break outside and puffing from a vaporizer, then it's simply taking a break and puffing from a vaporizer.

That's largely why e-cigs are the most successful way to quit smoking tobacco products - it's the most similar habit to smoking cigarettes, so it slots into the existing highly-reinforced habits that smokers have. You drop a bunch of the random other chemicals that are present in cigarettes, and wind up reinforcing the replacement habit before dropping dosages and having a regular habit that's as easy to quit as, say, biting your fingernails.


Thing is, the fact that you can reduce the nicotine dosage does not necessarily mean that people will; unlike cigarettes, it's trivial to also increase the nicotine dosage many times.


I don't think a significant amount of people do that. Coming from someone with a lot of experience vaping (actually helped me quit smoking), it's somewhat difficult to find ejuices with pleasant flavors (anything that's not a stereotypical cigarette flavor like menthol) above 6mg, and around 9mg or higher, the nicotine flavor becomes quite pronounced and overpowering, and your flavor options are severely limited.


I started experimenting with nicotine gum as a non-smoker. From what I've read, the method you get your nicotine has a major effect on level of addiction. Inhalation combines a habitual act with the near instanaeous activation time to create a highly addictive behavioural habit.

I chew one 4mg piece of gum over the course of a day for mental stimulation and that's had some really nice side effects for me, such as being able to stay up later and continue on mentally engaging work.


I have a friend who did that for a few months and it took her iirc 2 years to get over the gum fixation.. even without nicotine, she always had to have some gum for cravings

I think she was chewing the nicotine gum a few times a day, but I'd still be careful about it.. iirc the reason she did it was she wanted gum and the only gum her parents had regularly was nicotine gum and she was like 14 at the time


> I think the key with vaping (not necessarily with Juul though due to market availability) is that it's very easy to decrease the dosage of nicotine without reducing the fixation amount.

There's some truth to this. I used to believe it wholly. You can go through my comment history and see that I've mentioned it before on Juul-related threads.

My more recently-developed stance is that it doesn't work as well as you'd think it does. It may work for some people, in some situations, but the reality is that your body can become surprisingly good at figuring out that its not getting the nicotine it wants, so you may just end up vaping the lower stuff more often. The double-blind thing honestly wouldn't work for real addicts; it may even be subconscious, but the body knows. You can't trick yourself out of a nicotine addiction.

The ritual is a big part of the addiction, and if you're not careful in regulating the number of pulls you're just going to make the ritual worse, without changing the amount of nicotine you pull in.

If you can combine it with some kind of regimen, like you don't pull more often than once every ten minutes, then sure, that could work. That's why it works for some people; not the strict reduction in potency.


My own experience FWIW: I had no problems going from half a pack a day to a 3mg liquid + half a pack a week.


I found that with vaping I just bought more Juul pods. Cheap, easy, minimal immediate side effects.

Tobacco had similar issues but I just couldn't smoke tons of cigarettes all day.

Both bad, I think stepping down nicotine works for some but not for me. You gotta do what you can to quit :)


and if you're using a tank system or filling your carts, you can mix your own dosage from 0% + something else. or just stay at 0%.


It comes down to personality and biochemistry, not everyone is that hooked on the stuff.

If you ban everything that is addictive you end up doing a disservice to people who can handle the substance or item in question. Banning addictive substances because some people can't handle them goes against my philosophy of the purpose of government.

Do we need some kind of super-citizen test where you have to prove your knowledge and responsibility for people to be able to be free to do/have/use the things they want?

I don't want a nanny state that bans what it thinks is bad for me and prevents me from accessing things that I want because some people can't handle it.

I was talking to some of my old farmer relatives a few months ago and one of them was telling stories about his dynamite license. It was a useful thing to have when interacting with the land and you could get a license and just go out and buy dynamite. This was maybe 50 years ago. That is the kind of world I want to live in, where people who can prove themselves can get any tool they want or need to manipulate their minds or the world around them.

Not a world where a committee (or public pressure) can decide what I can't handle or what's too dangerous.

I don't want to live in a world of padded walls.


What's to stop research into super-heroin as a product in that world? Just come up with the most psyche-abusive substance possible and enjoy an army of essentially slaves. People with the notion that free will is some sort of absolute confuse the heck out of me. I guess sibling post is right, it's just an issue of fundamental worldview being different.


The government banning tobacco from sale is the same sort of free-will exercise by humans for humans as is me banning tobacco from my own body, just on different levels.

The government can just as well have "addiction" problems with things that are bad for the population which are supported by the population.

The difference isn't free-will or not, it is only the level on which it is applied.

I prefer personal free will to collective free will whenever it is possible and reasonable.

The purpose of government is to do things we can't do for ourselves. I can decide whether or not to use a substance which might be addictive or to abstain from it forever. The government can do that too but I really don't think they need to. They need to make sure that those kinds of products are sold pure and as expected, that there is accurate information about their usage and effects available, and that people selling them do not mislead or manipulatively hook people, but ultimately I would rather a responsible individual make decisions than a collective.


I can’t get behind this argument when we live in an economy driven by a massive industry of personalized marketing and advertising. You espouse free will as if it’s some absolute, but studies show that human behavior is primarily the product of environment and is, to an extent, easy to predict the likelihood of someone becoming a smoker based on their age, race, income and zip code. How can we justify giving mega corporations carte blanche to market poisonous and addictive substance to our own friends, family and neighbors without asking that the government step in to prevent it?


You're talking about marketing, I'm talking about availability of products.

I don't think anybody is going around discussing the philosophy of government because they're concerned that they aren't free enough to be advertised to.

There is a marked difference between governments interfering with an individual's freedom to act on themselves and interfering with an individual's freedom to manipulate the actions of others.

>giving mega corporations carte blanche to market poisonous and addictive substance

They absolutely do not have this. Tobacco ads are banned from TV and Radio in the US, for example. Wouldn't exactly call that a blank check.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Health_Cigarette_Smokin...


They absolutely do have this. Juul has spent millions marketing on the internet and social media, and recently was advertising on TV until the networks began to refuse ads _within the last week_.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/business/juul-vaping-ads-...


Just want to say you've summed up the entirety of the way I think about "buyer freedom" in our advertisement infested world.


Banning plants has always been highly effective... it worked for weed, blow and of course heron. Highly effective ;)


Notably absent in your list is to incentivize the "right" behavior, especially when society will have to pay for it down the line via social safety nets. Hopefully less of an issue with vaping.


Correct, I do not want the government to be a moral guide.

I want the government to promote what is true, not what is right.


If addicts had access to a supply of affordable regulated clean consistent heroin 95%+ of the harms of addiction would be mitigated.

Heroin isn't a good habit, but it's surprisingly well tolerated by the human body and the majority of evils come from prohibition itself.


> What's to stop research into super-heroin as a product in that world? Just come up with the most psyche-abusive substance possible and enjoy an army of essentially slaves.

Way ahead of you...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/11/purdue-pharm...

$12B to make the cops go away. The adult version of Carlos the Jackal.


This isn't legal advice, but a lot of the restrictions around buying and using explosives on your own land for personal purposes is waived for binary explosives. You can go and buy tannerite, mix it on-site, and use it as an explosive firearms target and blow stuff up. Zero licensing required to do this.

NB: Do not do this if you have a felony conviction since this that makes it a crime.


I just read Ignition! so I have lots of ideas about doing irresponsible things which are fundamentally incompatible with a Mountain View apartment. Converting a bit of a cornfield into a rocket test stand is a reasonable thing to do, right?

But if anyone wants a remote employee in a central time zone moving back to the family farm so I have a few hundred acres to screw around with instead of about 20 sq ft...


You definitely need to stay abreast of fire safety and toxic chemical regulations here, and you probably want an explosives license anyhow for some of the materials you might want (particularly for ignition I think).

Again, not a lawyer, highly suggest you consult with one before doing amateur rocket science.


I'm sure all the employers on HN are just chomping at the bit to have you on their company health insurance plan after that post :P

But on a more serious note, if you're considering the remote work life, I do recommend it.


I did about three years of remote work, I have mixed feelings about it, really depends a lot of the environment.


If a different farm would do, my workplace is about 20 to 30 minutes away from an area where you could buy about 10 acres without trouble. It's low-level hacking, in Florida, a few dozen miles south of Cape Canaveral: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19797601


personally I'm with you, although I'll grant reasonable concessions (eg, not many citizens need surface-to-air missiles). the problem is ideological unfortunately. people simply don't share your definition of "freedom" or value it.


> I don't want a nanny state that bans what it thinks is bad for me and prevents me from accessing things that I want because some people can't handle it.

Show me a one-armed guy who bought a stick of dynamite thinking, “No way can I handle this.”


Smoking and Juul hurt public health more than anything else. Not only the smokers themselves get lunge disease or even die, but also other innocent second-hand smokers get hurt. I do not want my little kids' lungs to absorb smoke just because they are playing in public. Smoking and Juul are universally bad with little or no benefits. They should be banned from any public space for good.


This kind of paranoia about exposure goes way too far beyond trying to prevent actual negative consequences to a fanatical obsession with one irritant out of a million which is way below the noise floor.

If you want to live in a HEPA bubble, live in a HEPA bubble. Outside isn't that.


i was a tobacco user for roughly ten years, equivalent of 2-5 cigarrettes a day max. The month i picked up a juul that amount effectively 10x'ed. I feel bad for all these kids who are going to leave high school with a stronger nicotine tolerance and dependence than some 40 year chain smokers.


This is why I never tried it. I bet I would like it, a lot. And with cigarettes you have to go outside, you smell bad, etc., these things have none of those problems. It just looks very easy to get hooked on them.


There's no negative feedback loop to vaping, its like if you could drink with no hangovers.


*that we know about. There's a lot of people worried about long term effects and possibly even brain damage.


Via what mechanism would vaping nicotine cause brain damage that isn't caused by cigarettes? The glycol?


That's what further research would provide.


I switched to nicotine gum and it was just as bad. When i tried to quit gum I would wake up every hour, sometimes sweating. I was building up a chewing tolerance way beyond what i had with cigarettes.

Nicotine is really powerful stuff. I believe there's no free lunch with quitting. Eventually you will take a quality of life hit white quitting that almost directly mirrors how much relief it gave you to get through the day.


> Nicotine is really powerful stuff. I believe there's no free lunch with quitting.

The by far best way is to just never start. In Germany we made a lot of very good progress towards that (lowering % of young people getting hooked on smoking), which seems to have been completely upended by vaping.


I've never been addicted to tobacco but I used to vape heavily in HS & currently on/off (my friend brings his vape(s) over, etc). I've never experienced anything to the extent you describe. I can definiently feel a desire, in that, I would rather be vaping vs not but not the the point that I've actually filled up any of my personal vapes recenctly or bought a new device.

It's well known that the other chemicals in tobacco act as MAIOs increasing the effect of nicotine which makes it more habbit forming - and I believe that extends to even after you switch to a nicotine replacement program.

Really, the most annoying thing is that tobaccoo is still legal are are both nicotine + cancer. At least vaping/nicotine alone won't kill you so it's strange that it gets more attention.


Nicotine is itself a carcinogen. But in general, smokeless tobacco products (including vaping) are much less damaging to your health than smoking.


I don't think nicotine has been shown to be carcinogenic in humans, although there's plenty of other bad things it does.


I'm almost positive it's been linked to bladder cancer.


Nicotine stimulates Growth Hormone release and GH is linked to some cancers.

For sure many tumors respond much more intensely to GH than normal tissue. Much in the same way estrogen makes some breast cancers grow faster. So it has a carcinogenic effect, and once the cancer starts, nicotine turbocharges it. (Depending on the cancer, of course).


You know what else increases HGH .fasting increases hgh by about 3 to 5 times than normal baseline .

Clearly we should ban fasting

There is a lot of other foods that do that too


Do we know the 30 year effects of say being a heavy Juul user? It's hard to compare damage of something that has been out for 100s of years vs something that has only been out for a few years.


> Nicotine is itself a carcinogen.

No, no it's not. It's a teratogen.


Leaving this here: "an agent or factor which causes malformation of an embryo".


Statistically, vaping products are far more dangerous than smoking.

Smoking may cause cancer and lung disease which kills smokers over time, but that time period is measured in years and decades.

In contrast, 8 people have died in the last few months from vaping-related illnesses despite most of them being active and healthy only a month or two before their deaths. Another several hundred people are in hospital beds with severe lung diseases related to vaping and many of them could die or never regain function.

At the current rate, vaping would need to go another few decades without a single death just to achieve statistical parity with smoking.


I'm pretty hard against vaping, but this is just plain wrong. First, the statistics are bad.

Since 2011 when vaping really started taking off, there are roughly 220,000,000 vaping years: total cumulative # of years folks have vaped. And 8 deaths, or 0.000000003 deaths per vaping year. Compare to smoking, which has had about 8,000,000,000 smoker years and 28,000,000 deaths, or 0.007 deaths per smoker year. We don't know the really long term effects of vaping, so all of this is subject to change, but the idea that vaping kills more is completely unsupported by even the most basic (see above) accounting.

And that's leaving off the fact that you're ignoring the cause of death for these 8: which, while unknown, has strong indications it's not linked to mainstream vaping devices.


This is blatant misinformation. The majority of those with 'vaping illnesses' that have created this Hysteria reported using black market THC vapor cartridges.


That's fairly disengenuous. When you say "smoking" you presuppose tobacco, but you use "vaping" to account for 8 cluster deaths in two decades without much thought for the substance.

By your logic, eating and shots kill 130 people a day[1], so how long would it take before vaccines are safer than cigarettes?

[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/o...


i like how you produced statistics without a sample size, dosage regimen, or even qualifying what you mean by 'smoking'. Hookah? Cigars? Pipes? Cloves?

very acute and savvy of you.


Juul seems to have higher nicotine content than most of the traditional vaping juices. Even the new reusable nicotine salt devices.

It's also pretty gross and strong by comparison IMO. But I guess it's for people who just stopped smoking cigarettes which is similarly harsh whenever I try them now.


It's a nicotine salt so it's stronger but less harsh on your throught. A 50mgml nicotine salt concentration ends up being as 'strong' as ~28mg/ml nicotine freebase (since the salt makes up ~45% of the molar weight) but has the throat hit of like a 12mg/ml nicotine freebase.

The volume held in the device & volume per 'puff' is also a lot less hence the smaller devices.


just for what it's worth, i personally get nicotine salt juices for use with my sub ohm tank. i never really got the appeal of those small vape pen style ones like the ego or the modern wave of juuls. but i have heard some people say you can't do nicotine salt ones or shouldn't with a sub ohm vaporizer. i still don't see why. the reduction of throat hit with a large delivery of vapor seems to be the ideal way to consume it for me


The nicotine inhalation flux would be dependant on the coil used and amount of current, maybe they reduced the heating rate to reduce amount of filler in liquid required.


Juul pods are 3 and 5% where I live. That's typical for vape juice. Are they different elsewhere?


5% is not typical. The highest strength vape juice sold in most places is around 24mg/mL or 2.4%. Most "old-school" vape users smoke something more like 12mg.


I went from 12 down to 3mg, same with most of the people I know.

You realize quickly that the Nicotine content isn't super important as long as you taper it down.

Which is not an option with Juuls and the other disposable garbage products. Refillable Vladdin style devices are the way to go.


Congradulations, man. That's really hard and I'm glad you feel that it had made a difference in you life. I've helped a few people get on the path to stop smoking. It's hard. Most people I helped struggled massively. It's a big accomplishment. Hats off to you! Enjoy your newfound freedom. :)


On the flip side, going out on breaks w/ people to smoke or vape can be a great social enhancement. Made at least one great friend this way. Also how my mom met my dad.

Still trying to think up a good replacement for this...


Those of us who don't smoke still find ways to socialize and meet people. Usually around a totally different drug (alcohol).


If you are trying to quit, which it sounds like you are not, you have to unlearn this aspect of smoking. Obviously as a smoker, I loved doing that!

It's just not good for your health or happiness. I was especially worried whenever I was going back to the bar/restaurant/office wondering if I smell too much like cigarettes


> I was especially worried whenever I was going back to the bar/restaurant/office wondering if I smell too much like cigarettes

As someone who quit cigarettes 5 years ago, but still chews 2mg gum (12 of them per day, about), you did for sure heh. Wasn't until I stopped smoking that I realised how bad it smelled.

Also how good food tastes when I could taste stuff properly again!


I agree -- on balance, smoking is not worth it, at least not regularly.

So I basically never smoke cigarettes anymore, and Juul only occasionally.

Still, I miss it...


At my previous job, I simply went out with the smokers sometimes, to get some, uh, 'fresh air'. Didn't really get any fresh air that way, but I did socialize with them just fine and it wasn't as weird as it might sound.


Congrats for quitting. I was also just like you. I would smoke maybe one analog a day but with Juul, I blitzed through a whole pod. I became 10x more addicted. Thankfully I have been tobacco free for over a year now.


You could do a taper basically.


> 28% of high school students this year said they had used an e-cigarette at least once in the past 30 days

Holy smokes! If you look at data from a few years ago [1] that's more than double what you'd see for cigarette smoking (eyeballing the numbers here, the data is more granular).

Is it easier for kids to get e-cigs than cigarettes? Or do they just want them more?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK294302/table/ch13.t3/?...


1. They taste better

2. Yes, they are easier to get, for a couple reasons: once you have a juul you only need juul pods, and additionally you don't need to purchase a lighter (which you need to be over eighteen a lot of places to purchase).

edit 3. They are far more discreet (you can vape in a classroom if you are in the back and it is dark) and deliver more nicotine.


Why is it easier to buy juul pods than a pack of cigarettes?

And I'm not aware of any place in the states you need to be over 18 to buy a lighter - and as a former dumbass teenager, I don't think kids have difficulty in figuring out how to light things on fire.

Discretion makes sense, but I feel like rationalizing an irrational decision here. Wouldn't it be more discrete not to vape?


I personally remember being a teenager in California trying to buy a lighter to smoke and it was not straightforward. Indeed, I ended up being successful, but I had to use a stove lighter we had lying around my house.

Huh? Are you saying that teenagers behave completely rationally? We just wanted to rip our magic flight launch boxes while watching bill nye. It would have been more discrete to sit down and shut up.


> Why is it easier to buy juul pods than a pack of cigarettes?

There are non-nicotine pods. And they have all of the social addictiveness even if they don't have actual nicotine in them.


if there’s no nicotine, then who cares? Magic the Gathering cards and pogs were addicting back in the day, but kids could still buy them.


MtG doesn't have any health downsides other than possibly being a marker for being too sedentary. Vaping has direct health consequences over "not vaping" even without nicotine.

The "safety" of vaping is predicated on being compared to "smoking cigarettes". If a bunch of non-smokers picks up vaping, that calculus evaporates.

Consequently, selling vaping to a non-smoking, teenage market should come under extreme scrutiny.

In addition, everything about the vaping experience is designed to be addicting. I had a friend who believed exactly as you do until he tried one of the flavored, non-nicotine pods. They have a very strong attraction.


I do not think you can develop a physiological dependence to Magic the Gathering cards. Additionally, the cards do have some market value, so it was more of a poor use of money than throwing money away.


Are you claiming that people develop physiological dependence to non-nicotine pods? Nicotine is very addictive, but that's why the parent poster said "if there’s no nicotine, then who cares?" People may get all kinds of strong weird habits with oral fixation e.g. biting nails and such, but that's generally not considered as physiological dependence.


Nicotine is not what mainly makes smoking addictive or even dangerous. There are plenty of bad chemicals that are much worse than nicotine that vaping could (and shouldn’t) include.


Because you don't breathe playing cards into your lungs?


If they have nicotine, then who cares either? Nicotine is addictive when combined with other substances in regular cigarettes. Not as a stand-alone chemical.

(Of course avoiding getting any kind of particulate in your lungs is better than getting it.)


I'm not sure why I see this popping up throughout the comments. Nicotine BY ITSELF is extremely addictive.


Nicotine by itself doesn’t seem categorically different than caffeine (coffee, tea, yerba mate, guarana, ...) or other stimulants (khat, coca leaves, ginseng, cinnamon, ...). Yes these are generally addictive, but not necessarily life ruining. Dosage, frequency of use, etc. matters a lot.

Frequent long-term use of any stimulant is probably not great for you; e.g. my mother has a pretty severe coffee addiction (she typically drinks 4–8 cups per day), and gets headaches and shakes if she goes a couple days without. But compared to other kinds of drugs, it doesn’t seem like such a huge public health threat that we should freak out about it.


I think you’re partly right. However comparing nicotine to caffeine is like comparing apples to oranges. They are similar, but nicotine affects the brain in a much more different (and arguably more addictive) way than caffeine does.


Technically, your example shows that not using coffee is not great for your mom.


Maybe because of this list of research papers collected by Gwern claiming that nicotine alone doesn't have strong addictive properties (not beyond caffeine level):

https://www.gwern.net/Nicotine#addictiveness.

Apparently in most popular, educational and health-related communication, nicotine is treated as synonym to tobacco, leading to confusion.


I've smoked tobacco for 30-ish years. Organic, additive-free tobacco is definitely less problematic for me. Lately I've been growing my own Nicotiana Rustica [0], which contains plenty more nicotine than regular tobacco but is nowhere near as addictive.

I know what I would do if I was selling drugs and didn't give a crap about anything but profits, I would make them as addictive as possible.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotiana_rustica


How do you find the Rustica? I wanted to have a crack at growing it in my entheogen garden


Before I started growing rustica; I ordered a roll of real mapacho from south america, which was very nice.

I've only tried sun-dried leaves from my own garden yet, which isn't quite as exciting. The nicotine boost is still the same though.

The idea is to grow enough to make my own mapacho paste and ferment a roll for a while.

By itself it's pretty harsh, and trippy because of the nicotine. I prefer it mixed with Cannabis and/or regular tobacco.

They need nutrients, lots of nutrients (epsom salt works like magic). And loose, sandy soil or the initial roots won't go anywhere.


Seeds are available at most 'ethnobotanical' online stores. Tiny seeds: can get hundreds for a few bucks. Pretty easy to grow too.


To take it a step further (since it's something I've thought about), even if it is highly addictive, does it matter? It's an obvious problem with tobacco products for health reasons. But AFAIK pure nicotine isn't particularly bad compared to many things we consume, apart from the withdrawal effects. Though perhaps I'm misinformed there.


Not only easier to get, but so much easier to conceal.


How are purchasing juul pods any different than cigarettes?


I believe that most teens buy juul pods from peers, so network penetration is its own facilitating factor. Furthermore, the price differential between wholesale and word-of-mouth high school black market is likely high enough to drive a pretty brisk trade.


you don't need to purchase a lighter to use them and they last longer.


Lighters are inexpensive, common, and last a long time.

Juul pods are age-restricted consumables, just like cigarettes.

I think the lack of odor, more agreeable flavors, and less health or social stigma are more important. I doubt e-cigarettes differ much from cigarettes in how easy it is to get ahold of when underage, although perhaps adults are more willing to sell them to or buy them for teenagers on the belief that they're harmless.


Sure, but it is still non trivial for teenagers to get lighters in California (where my experience comes from).

The lighter is the juul itself. The cigarettes are the juul pods.

A juul lasts longer than a lighter.


A juul vaporizer does last longer than a lighter, but at a significantly higher cost. Lighters cost a buck or two and last for hundreds and hundreds of cigarettes. The juul vaporizer is also just as easy to misplace/lose as a lighter. As a former CA teen, lighters were absolutely trivial to get—and far less hassle than getting a juul vaporizer. Hell, you can find matches pretty damn easily, too.

Edit: Assuming the average teenager has limited funds, a lighter and pack of cigarettes is far cheaper than a juul vaporizer and pack of pods. Even once you have the juul, the pods are still more expensive than buying a new lighter and cigarettes in many areas.


I'm not going to argue that it was major obstacle. Not at all. In fact I'm willing to concede that it is so much a non issue that I should not have included it on my list of reasons.

But there was definitely a year of my life less than six years ago when I was not able to purchase a lighter from any gas station in the bay area, and I'm absolutely certain that it has only gotten more difficult for teenagers since cigarettes now require you to be 21 to purchase.

And I should mention there is no law preventing the sale of lighters. People will just flat out refuse if you don't have an ID.

The times they are a changing


I had an experience as a teenager as well and "must produce fire" wasn't a meaningful obstacle. Of course your mileage may vary but lighters (and if not that, then matches certainly) were and are commonly found in households, ready to go missing.

And they last such a long time that frequency of replacement just does not matter compared to the cost and frequency of either cigarettes or vaping consumables.


Yes.. but they need to source that juul pod somehow - a lighter isn't really an obstacle point for smoking..


In California when I was a teenager six years ago it certainly was an obstacle.


As someone who used to get lighters as a teenager just to have one, without using it to smoke (though in my later teens I smoked), I find this fascinating. Are smaller matchbooks also prohibited? Like others have mentioned, I never had trouble starting a fire as a teenage boy, it's like this inborn survival instinct.


There is literally zero statute or law preventing the sale of lighters to anyone. That being said, gas station attendants and Walgreens cashiers in the particular area I grew up (which was the bay area) would not sell them to anyone under 18. I have no idea about matches - I couldn't find them.


I'm sorry, I meant a lighter isn't an obstacle to smoking. You can use a household stove lighter, a match, a car cigarette thing.. there are lots of opportunities.


Just FYI, you're looking for "discreet".


I always think, "the two letter 'e's are discrete from each other, but the two letter 'e's hide away discreetly." Or something like that. It works, I swear!


I learned about this in math class. Discrete vs. discreet, not vaping in the back of math class.


Congratulations.


Definitely "want them more". Smoking rates have been steadily going down across the board in the US for decades, but now Juul is making it "cool" again, hence the uptick among teens.


Juuls are pervasive in modern day high school. Either you have one or your friend has one.

My little sister told me that the bathrooms are basically used vape-stations between classes now, and most people have tried it.


Depends on the school, of course.


Good point. For perspective, this is happening in Southern California, LA area.


Here's data that shows vaping has wiped out almost 20 years of reductions in teen smoking.

https://www.motherjones.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/blog_...


That chart is incredible


Great success.


If you look at data from a few years ago you’re missing the full picture. Cigarette smoking by high school students has been on a heavy decline for the past 20 years. Especially in 2012 when it was already looked down on socially.


Juul packs here are half the price of tobacco cigarettes for the same amount of nicotine. Only have sales taxes and not tobacco taxes.


A tainted, unregulated THC product killed people.

That is bad. That does not mean we should immediately ban all vaping devices. There should be long term studies done on devices and juices in order to determine health effects, and there should be audits on vape juice manufacturers to make sure they aren’t putting really bad stuff in them.

I don’t understand the moral panic. Marketing nicotine products to kids may be reprehensible, but marketing in general is largely reprehensible. It’s a matter of degree. Why do we decide marketing devices that have not killed people, but have just been vessels for unregulated product that have done the damage, is worse than marketing soda and sugary foods, which kill thousands, or addictive apps and social media, which damages mental health significantly, or overpriced unnecessary college educations, which cause people to go into debt for decades, or cars, which both increase debt and are a leading cause of teenage death? Most of those things are unnecessary for the majority of the population. Healthy foods, real life interactions, apprenticeships/job training programs, and public transportation are all generally better than the alternatives for the safety and financial future of young people.

The moral panic happening RE vaping is how the war on drugs started. People saw something that affected the youth and tried to smash it with a big stick rather than attack it with sophistication and respect for the free decisions of the population. It didn’t work.

If vaping is bad, let’s find out why/what specifically is bad, and let’s ban the stuff that killed the people that just died. Banning all of it is draconian. There is no good reason to drive well tested products that people enjoy out of the market, even if they aren’t 100% healthy. I don’t want to live in the Demolition Man future. Plus people who want to vape if products become very expensive and hard to get due to taxes, bans and overregulation will be tempted to buy the crap that isn’t tested that will actually kill them.


No true Scotsman ever killed people!


Non THC vapes have at the very least put people in intensive care, if not killed people.

It's far premature to try and claim the lack of any health effects from any type of vapes, they just haven't existed long enough.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/vaping-london-1.5292161


It’s also far to premature to claim any specific health effects from vaping as a whole.

The article said the teen using a nicotine based product, but that’s not enough information. We don’t where the nicotine juice he was using came from/whether he bought it off the street or from a reputable seller. We also don’t know if that was based on blood tests or self reports, although I think it’s likely the report is accurate/the issue just happens to affect THC users much more.

This spike in illness is very recent and seems to be fairly acute. Vaping has existed for a number of years without similar cases, and they all just happened to appear all at once.

It seems fairly obvious to me that it has something to do with a particular kind of juice that was recently introduced and is more common in illicit THC products. I suspect one or several shadier manufacturers started using something bad fairly recently, and that it has affected mostly THC products, but is not related to the THC itself.

The current reaction is like jumping to ban all toys because of that issue a few years back where some Chinese manufacturers were forced to recall toys with lead paint.


EDIT: looks like I missed my editing window. Apologies for the typos and grammatical issues, wrote out the above pretty quickly.


I for one find it rather interesting that all (and I mean ALL) reports of nicotine-only lung issues with symptoms similar to the THC issues are coming from teens. There was one in King County WA and it was self-reported. Another one from Delaware was also not having vaped THC... until the patient's brother found his THC carts hidden in his room.


Let us dissect a news story about this:

https://komonews.com/news/local/officials-confirm-first-case...

It's all about vaping. General vaping, no THC mentioned, except right at the end: "The Health District says people that vape or use THC products" which doesn't make a lot of sense, because edibles are THC products and I'm pretty sure you won't get any lung issues from them.

It also says: "A Pierce County man is suing the makers of vape pods and vape pens claiming the products left him wheezing". Woah.. he's probably going to sue Juul right? Wrong. https://komonews.com/news/local/pierce-co-man-files-first-la...

"Puyallup Tribal Police Officer Charles Wilcoxen claims marijuana-laced pods gave him lipoid pneumonia. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital on September 11 when the wheezing became especially severe. After tests, doctors gave him the diagnosis."

This is why we can't have nice things.


No, I think it should be banned. This is not draconian, that is a faulty argument. The ‘Vaping’ to which a ban would refer is not a human right, it is a commercial activity which is demonstrably harmful. The details and qualifications and counterfactuals and slippery slope arguments don’t matter. If you want to make your own inhaler and your own juice then be my guest. But making money off of it? That should be banned.


Should candy be banned? Demonstrably harmful commercial activity.


This is a bad faith argument.


Calling the Socratic method a bad faith argument, is itself a bad faith argument.

It's obviously an attempt to get you to clarify your position by showing if/how you differentiate a case that fits within your previously-stated criteria but we assume is actually excluded from your judgement.


I disagree. I'd say the argument of sugar versus Tobacco as the bigger killer is a close one.


Mutually beneficial exchange, e.g. Making money through selling people things they want, is the foundation of society.

If I want to give my money to someone else, in exchange for something I want and enjoy, that doesn’t hurt you - why should you care? You are not an injured party.

You don’t like it, you don’t need to buy it. But outlawing something because you don’t like it is just vicious.

All that said, I don’t vape, but I do enjoy the occasional cigar which has faced similar restrictions on flavors and sales of late.

If you have never had a nicotine buzz, you really don’t know what you are missing. Stress disappears, focus is intensely magnified. It’s great. If you’re not prone to addiction I recommend trying it sometime.

There’s a number of good articles I could list, but despite demonization, it has some fantastic upsides and without the additives isn’t nearly the Faustian bargain it’s made out to be.

http://discovermagazine.com/2014/march/13-nicotine-fix


Mutually beneficial exchange? You fail to really ask who benefits, and the answer is Juul and company. Anyway, the ‘it’s my money’ argument is untenable, society doesn’t run that way. We should never indulge any interest merely because it exists.


> We should never indulge any interest merely because it exists.

We absolutely should. Blocking someone from something they desire, from their "pursuit of happiness" is patently imoral. Prohibitions don't work because people want what they want.

> You fail to really ask who benefits

The customer benefits from getting what they want in nicotine, and the company benefits from getting what they want in money.

Benefit is entirely in personal perception.

Just because you don't believe the person is better off for getting nicotine products, doesn't mean they don't.


How about all alcohol, except for your backyard moonshine?


> The San Francisco company has said it never marketed to teens

Says a company that:

• Recruited social media "influencers" to post about Juul

• Sponsored programs at schools and summer camps

• Ran "youth education" and "holistic health education" programs where they told teenagers about the dangers of nicotine and (reportedly) that using their product was safe


Is this for real?

Do you have sources for the last 2 statements?



Who decided to let Juul give a presentation at the schools? It sounds like all of those people need to be fired, too. I mean, obviously Juul is not innocent, but at the least on the schools' part, this is negligence to a point you need to fire someone.


Source?


The source is the article this discussion is linked to.


Why so many comments about a ban? There isn't any mention of a ban... even if prosecuted for marketing to minors and found guilty, does not mean the product will be banned...

Should Juul be found guilty they will be punished via fines, just like a tobacoo company.

Of course Juul knew this and decided it was worth it because if their device went viral, which it did, they would be locked in as a market leader, which they are.

All they have to do now is lawyer up and try to survive the next year or so and they are locked in.

If they are fined so hard as to go out of business, the product is still not banned and you would have the next in line take the market leader position.

The product is here to stay, banning the devices will be more difficult than banning marijuana (which is a loosing battle).

Will Juul be a brand in the United States in 5 years? Maybe?

Will we still have e-cigarettes in the United States in 5 years, definitely.

If prohibition really occurs of course we will have 3d printed vapes and an even strong black market vape.

I think regulation will likely occur, likely making it require a prescription, but that is still not an outright ban.


> Why so many comments about a ban?

New York State banned flavored e-cigarettes recently, on the grounds that they encourage kids to take up vaping; that ban wasn't specifically targeted at Juul (who saw the writing on the wall and stopped selling flavors last year) but that's the brand name everyone knows, so that's why they're catching the investigative heat now.


> Juul (who saw the writing on the wall and stopped selling flavors last year)

What? Juul still sells flavors, even if you select that you live in NY or MI (also banning flavors) on the popup when you enter the site: https://www.juul.com/shop/pods


Meanwhile, The stock prospects for the traditional big tobacco companies are going up.

Guess what it does to their value after getting an entire generation hooked on vaping nicotine for a decade, then for a brief time remove all flavors but the ones you can find in traditional cigarettes, then once people switch to tobacco and menthol only, remove e-cigarettes entirely. The only option is traditional cigarettes or not smoking at that point. If it was easy to quit, we would’ve never had a need to create e-cigarettes to begin with.

It’s completely evil any way you look at it.


I used one for a month and some change during a long road trip. It helped me avoid smoking around the campfire, something my friend and I would do for 'old time's sake'.

I'm glad I didn't use it for a long time. I had a feeling this was just as bad as smoking. I tried to tell some kids I know who are always vaping but they laughed at me with a statement like 'science bitch!'. Well, here you go.


Could the recent smear campaign on vaping have anything to do with the upcoming release of IQOS in the US market?


Forgive me, but I just can’t believe we are doing the cigarette thing all over again. I can’t believe it. The vendors have just read Big Tobacco’s marketing manual. The interaction of Juul with social media, what a match made in heaven of modern society’s best elements. The users are saying the same things all nicotine addicts say “I make friends! It helps me think! It’s my money!”. Imagine if you will, hearing these same arguments in the cancer clinic where I work. Symptoms of total brain failure, and paying for the privilege.

Nicotine products cause only harm to society. That’s enough. Any other argument for individual freedom or benefit is moot. We should ban commercial enterprises based on nicotine. There is one moment when this is possible, which is now. Anyone who thinks that vaping reduces harm from cigarettes is dreaming. Why on earth do we want to spend the next 50 years studying vaping and understanding the risks and benefits of life long vaporised nicotine use, so that Juul’s founders can make a lot of money? If you enjoy moderate and sensible recreational use of nicotine - sorry.


It's about time.


Tell me more about your perspective.


The world is burning to the ground but at least these damn kids won't have Mango flavored e-cigs anymore. What a lovely use of our resources.


Please don't post unsubstantive comments here.


I completely disagree, investigating vaping companies for targeting kids is absolutely worthwhile.

Big tobacco was prohibited from advertising is various media for creating characters like Joe Camel, only to circumvent the spirit of the law via the internet.

Vaping is killing kids, how is this not a valid use of resources?


It really isn't killing kids, and I would challenge that they are 'targeting them'. As an adult vape user, I love the fruit flavors. They are for my (adult) use only. I would never let someone under 21 get access to this. Why should I be penalized because lots of kids are breaking the law?

The recent (adult) deaths from Vaping are due to black market THC cartridges filled with vitamin e acetate. It is very likely the kids are obtaining (safe) retail product, which is a failure in retail process, not the manufacturer. While it is a bad thing that school aged children are illegal acquiring Juul -- how is this different (or even worse) than Alcohol? We should investigate alcohol vendors for making tasty beverages too. Can't have flavors that adults might like...

There is a combination of events occurring simultaneously that is making it hard for folks to objectively understand the problem, and if there is actually a problem at all.


If you don't think fruity flavors target kids as at least collateral damage, will you tell me this is classical marketing aimed at your (adult) age group? https://s3-prod.adage.com/s3fs-public/styles/width_1024/publ...

Also, no nicotine product is (safe). There is no safe amount. In my opinion, we should just work towards a smoke-free future.

The analog to alcohol is a bit of a whataboutism. Just because alcohol is bad, doesn't justify smoking.


What is the mechanism by which pure nicotine is harmful, other than a massive overdose (which can easily kill you). As far as I'm aware nicotine itself is no worse than caffeine. If you mean the other chemicals produced by the medium and the combustion process, you should be specific so it doesn't sound like fear mongering. Otherwise I'd be interested in hearing any objective evidence that the nicotine itself is harmful. I have to say though, when people talk about banning things because they believe it's for the greater good, my morality police spidey sense starts tingling.


>Vaping is killing kids, how is this not a valid use of resources?

Citation needed.


> What a lovely use of our resources.

Protecting kids from predatory companies selling them addictive substances? Yep that’s exactly what we should be spending resources on.


Given all the problems in this country, somehow this seems like not the highest priority issue.


The US government is vast, and can handle more than one issue at once...


I don't know that the evidence - especially in recent history - really supports this conclusion very strongly.

At a minimum, it's probably reasonable to say that political capital is real, and selecting an issue to work on (either in the executive branch or more commonly in Congress) does indeed have costs that impair effort on other issues.


What political capital? Federal prosecutors and the FDA have limited resources, of course, but I don't think this issue is preventing Congress or the White House of pursuing more pressing issues.


Well, political capital is a two-way street; it comes in debts and credits. Dealing with statistical non-issues like this only allows the DoJ (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, the FTC, which is also named in this article as part of the investigation) to claim to be doing something, while the real issues go unresolved.

The auto industry and the pharma industry, whose products kill huge numbers of kids, and who have both repeatedly taken actions in pursuit of profit without regard for the health and safety effects of those decisions, never seem to face any serious, lasting consequences.

The "rash of injuries and deaths" link in the article is a 404, but let's assume they are talking about the six deaths over the past two-and-a-half years. During that same time, 30,000 people have died from opiod overdose and 70,000 have died from MV traffic.

This is a distraction, and not even a convincing one.

Our public lawyers, lawmakers, regulators, and consumer advocates are spending their time and resources focused on really stupid things as a way not to have to talk about real life.


Luckily a Juul prosecution requires little political capital, since the value of political capital has gone to nearly zero as the elected part of the federal government has tumbled into complete dysfunction.


Public health and youth health is always a high priority issue.


> Public health and youth health is always a high priority issue.

Hahahaha. No.. no it's not. Perceptions about public health are high priority issues. Public health itself is not, unless it risks affecting the upper class.


If that were true, we'd be talking exclusively about cars, opioid drugs, suicide, and gang violence. All other causes of death are rounding errors for this age group.


The thing about this age group is they grow up.


Why can't we ban nicotine?


Why can't we ban ibuprofen?

Nicotine is an extremely complex molecule which has been proven to have positive effects in the treatment of autism, as well as mild cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer disease. Blanket statements like this are harmful to the general nature of science and show a disregard for empirical evidence.

Nicotine can be utilized for positive measures at therapeutic levels and was in Phase III clinical trials with the FDA for such uses before the backing pharmaceutical firm ran out of money. I recommend you do some research on Nicotine as a compound and interactions with nicotinic receptors in the body, the pharmacology is actually fascinating.


Yeah, because prohibition always works so well.


You're right, we should legalize murder and rape.

It's not like people are going to be less horny if we make raping illegal!


It does - drunk driving accidents and violence caused by alcohol plummeted during prohibition.


That was not the only outcome of prohibition...


Why can't we ban sugar?


Honest question: how much of the recent pushback could be attributed to incumbents feeling threatened by Juul et al.?



Sorry! I should've at least googled before asking that question.


Wouldn't it be more correct to say that any sanctions and regulations that result from this are unlikely to kill off Juul since it's pretty large already and partially owned by the incumbents and instead would make any new competition have a harder time breaking in into the market?

This seems to me the same kind of thing as Facebook and Google supporting privacy regulations.

Not that regulation is inherently bad, but this kind of thing seems to be a theme lately. Well, I say lately, but reading up some history, this kind of thing does tend to happen. This is, of course, still not enough of an argument against regulation, but it does tend to temper any optimism I have about regulations that I would be in favor of.


The incumbents, some of whom own 35% of Juul?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juul#Investors


The incumbents own Juul. Altria bought a 35% stake for $13b. It’s stock is down 30% since March when broad market is up 5+%.


It's all theater as far as I'm concerned. Nobody actually gives a shit about this.


Maybe a better question is who would benefit from Juul failing?

I'm not sure who. I don't think it's big tobacco. They need vaping to addict the next generation. Maybe vaping spend is taking away from another vice.


this isn't about juul failing -

it's about regulating the vaping industry so that entry /certification costs are so high that only incumbents can afford to certify their products and therefore capture market share from the small/independent players

this will be done by:

1) a draconian 'ban everything' scare-tactic that everyone knows is ridiculous (where we are now)

2) followed up by the 'reasonable compromise measure' (coming soon to a media spectacle near you)


Those of us who are annoyed by people vaping around us would benefit from less vaping. I won't claim to know or believe that Juul specifically failing would actually lead to less vaping, but it can't hurt.


Are you annoyed by people using juul sticks, or just the big cloud blowers using big battery mods? If someone were using a juul in the next cubical I doubt I would even notice.


Philip Morris. IQOS is about to hit US markets


The government. There is big money from cigarette taxes. Juul/vaping pays none. Juul IS big tobacco.


Basic credibility of the rule of law would certainly benefit, which indirectly benefits all of society.


> Maybe a better question is who would benefit from Juul failing?

Public health?


It has been proven over and over again that when you ban an addictive substance, the black market and similar-but-still-legal options will rush in to fill the void.

Pushing for transparency, research and more data so adults can make better informed decisions about what to do with their own bodies is the answer. Treating adults like children who aren't mature enough to make their own decisions is not.


The massive, decades-long decline in tobacco usage, particularly amongst young people, serves as a strong and highly relevant counterpoint.

Restrictions on advertising, access, and efforts to increase the cost etc. have been quite effective there.


Yes, but unless you tell us how we can profit from that, that's not an interesting answer.


We can't profit from reducing national healthcare costs for things like lung disease?


Vaping under 18, I get it, you’re young and dumb and succumbed to peer pressure. It happened to the best of us. But vaping after 30? It’s like they’re saying: Hey I want you to take me seriously while I am willfully destroying my body in front of you.

If you don’t care about yourself, you can’t be trusted to care about anything.


Okay. But there's a double standard when it comes to food. Why do fat people get a pass? Why is it legal to eat cheeseburgers and drink soda? The health risks from obesity are statistically just as bad as smoking. It's the leading cause of preventable death in the US. 1/3 of America is obese. It's a larger problem than smoking, statistically.

I don't smoke or vape. But it's a glaring double standard. McDonalds can market to kids, lure them with toys, and people who are 300+ lbs are allowed to eat whatever they want, as much as they want.

Why is it legal for parents to feed a 12 year old Cheetos and Pepsi? It's just as damaging health wise. In my city's public school there are teenagers who have gout. Yet nobody cares.


Downvote all you want. The facts are the facts. Unhealthy eating is just as bad as smoking. If the government is going to regulate our personal health choices, then it needs to be consistent.


You aren't wrong, just lacking in tact for hn.


Because you have to eat, and eating a Big Mac isn't unhealthy. Eating a Big Mac several times a week is.

You don't have to intake nicotine, at all.


> Big Mac isn’t unhealthy

Neither is nicotine, necessarily. Neither is smoking if it isn’t done long term and on a regular basis. But of course people who eat Big Macs tend to do it more than occasionally.

People don’t have to intake sugar. They don’t have to intake meat either.

You think I’m being facetious, but I’m dead serious. I’ve lost one family member to obesity and another suffers from type 2 diabetes.


If your Big Mac comes with sliced tomatoes and/or french fries you actually do have to intake some nicotine if you want to eat the whole thing. ;)

I agree with the parent, banning nicotine outright because of its perceived risk/benefit ratio while still allowing Coca Cola to advertise and sell bottled diabetes and tooth decay is a blatant double standard, and the fact that drinking water is essential for survival doesn't change that.

Not that I'm in favor of banning (so called) unhealthy life choices, I think that every adult individual should be given enough information to be able to decide themselves whether the rewards outweighs the risks in each case. I see no reason why drug dealers of any kind should be allowed to run ad campaigns though, so I'm fine with banning that.


How hyperbolic. Everyone is on a health continuum, and I know people who are incredibly active, informed and intelligent, and further with healthy who use a variety of drugs recreationally, including nicotine.

Many people use these things because their concept of well being differs from yours, and not every in an individualistic way (like antivaxx). There are a number of benefits to nicotine and if it can be taken safely then all the better.


If that's your thoughts on vapers then I can't imagine how low your opinion of cigarette smokers must go.


Isn't the whole argument for Juul is that it's a smoking cessation device? Practically nobody starts smoking after college age, but there are a lot of 30+ people who became smoking addicts when they were young, and for them Juul is at the very least an option to get their nicotine fix without all the tar and worse negatives in cigarettes.


Sure, that's the argument. But given the number of people using it it's impossible that that's how most people are actually using it.


One issue is that they aren't certified by the FDA as a smoking cessation device.


That's a very short sighed view of addiction.


It's a very American view of addiction.


E-cigs should be banned. Same as cigarettes of any kind. In fact, any airborne addictive substance should be blanked banned.

I used to rent an apartment that had a shared ventilation system. It was a no-smoking building. My neighbors decided to ignore this. The smell would get so bad it would make your head spin. The building management did nothing, because it was hard to prove which neighbor was the culprit. I ultimately had to break the lease & move out.

I don't care if you drink yourself under the table, snort meth on the regular, or whatever other self-destructive habit you choose for yourself. It's your right to be an idiot. But your rights stop the moment they infringe on my right to not part take in your self-destructive habits.

No, we don't need smoking rooms. No, it's not sufficient to ban smoking in public places. None of that has prevented me from coming in contact with nicotine or weed. Just ban it outright. It's really that simple.

Nicotine patches, weed cookies, etc. on the other hand? Those are fine. Go nuts. As long as you leave me out of it.


>In fact, any airborne addictive substance should be blanked banned.

So long to baking cookies.


Sure, if they emit an addictive airborne substance. Thanks for clarifying.


Scent of fresh baked cookies is definitely an addictive airborne substance.




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