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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30 mins ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.