Bloomberg Philanthropies, owned by Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is pledging $160 million throughout the next three years to help ban flavored e-cigarettes.
Vaping has become a serious issue among teens. Statistics from 2018 show that 1 in 15 public school students are currently using vapes. Additionally, even if they are not regular vape users, 14.4 percent of middle schoolers say that they have tried e-cigarettes.
Recently Juul has come under fire for allegedly marketing their items to children. In response, the company released a statement saying, “Juul Labs exists to help adult smokers switch off combustible cigarettes, which are the leading cause of preventable death and contribute to over 28,000 deaths per year in New York.
“We do not want or need new non-nicotine users. Our market is the over 1 billion adult smokers worldwide who should have the opportunity to switch to vapor products if they so desire.”
There has been a nationwide spotlight recently on lung illnesses potentially linked to vaping.
ABC spoke with Bloomberg about the announcement and said, “All of a sudden, all of the progress we’ve made reducing smoking, particularly in kids, is in jeopardy because they start vaping. Vaping is as bad, if not worse, than smoking,”
According to ABC, Bloomberg Philanthropies pledge money will help:
-Remove of flavored e-cigarettes from the marketplace
-Ensure e-cigarettes are subjected to review before they reach the market and products now on the market are reviewed promptly
-End marketing practices that appeal to kids
-Stop online e-cigarette sales until sales to kids can be prevented from buying them
Bloomberg isn’t the only one taking action, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that the state’s health department is issuing subpoenas to three e-cigarette companies, Honey Cut Diluting Agent by Honey Cut Labs LLC in Santa Monica, California; Uber Thick by Floraplex Terpenes in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and Pure Diluent by Mass Terpenes in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Cuomo also said that stores in New York offering vape products will be required to add signage, sharing the risks.