Sep 16, 2019

Nicotine addictions increasingly driving vape users back to cigarettes

Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A new Los Angeles Times report details a painfully ironic contradiction: Vape users turning to cigarettes to cope with their nicotine addictions, challenging vapes' original purpose of helping cigarette users quit smoking altogether.

The big picture: As cigarette use has declined, e-cigarettes and vaping are seeing a sharp increase in popularity — but not without pushback. Just last week, Juul, a vaping technology, faced backlash from lawmakers for being advertised as less harmful than cigarettes without approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

  • A recent surge in vaping-related illness caused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release a statement warning against the broad use of vapes.
  • Juul is also being targeted for allegedly marketing to youth. States attorneys are seeking to prevent increased youth use through a series of lawsuits and investigations, while the Trump administration last week announced plans to pull all flavored e-cigarette cartridges from the market.

What they're saying: In a statement to the LA Times, Juul said its product is designed to "help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes to an alternative nicotine delivery system.”

  • But some Juul users are backsliding. Dr. Amanda Graham of Truth Initiative, an anti-tobacco group, says she's witnessed users succumbing to "desperation and misguided approaches" to stump their nicotine addictions.
  • “Young people are fumbling in the dark with what seems logical,” Graham told the Times. "But there is no safe level of cigarette smoking."
  • A Juul user who quit the device following significant breathing problems told the Times: "I think a lot of people are quitting completely or going back to cigarettes ... maybe [vaping] isn’t as safe as we once thought."

Go deeper: New arrests shed light on vaping's black market

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Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

Updated 6 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.