In a lot of ways, the downfall of electronic cigarettes mirrors that of famous pseudo-pop duo Milli Vanilli. Initially, pitched to kids as less dangerous versions of a cool thing we all love, they then became this comical thing you were embarrassed to be associated with when you weren’t drunk and or dancing. And now we’re finding out they’re actually a worse synthetic knock off of the cooler thing that will give you cancer, adversely impact fertility and share an underwhelming association with Arsenio Hall.
In the middle of a looming health crisis, complete with hospitalizations and a potential government ban, Juul CEO, Kevin Burns has officially stepped down, handing the mop to an executive from Atlanta by the name of K.C Crosswaithe. Juul Labs has agreed to cease all advertising of their products while state and federal regulators conduct an investigation behind the hundreds of cases of lung-related illness affecting young Americans.
“Kevin transformed our start-up into a global business, and we are incredibly grateful for his commitment to and passion for our mission. K.C. has long understood the potential of alternatives to combustible cigarettes and the need to combat youth usage and we look forward to having him lead our team during this crucial phase,” Juul founders James Monsees and Adam Bowen commented in a press statement.
The cons and confirmed cons
Ever since studies began to join forces against the purported health benefits of e-cigarettes, some have set their crosshairs on big tobacco, especially in regards to the timing of Burns’ abdication. It’s hard to argue in favor of advertising vaping products to minors, which was vigorously being done up until recently, but are there benefits (health-related or otherwise) that might give e-cigs a second wind beneath the rabid press?
Vaping is typically coupled with ax-riddled v-necks but what about its impact on the proletariat? Like this anonymous worker that penned a blog a few years back, contesting that ditching cigarettes for vaping has made him more productive. The user that goes by Mousy wrote, “When things would go wrong when I smoked, I’d storm outside, light up and then not touch the project again for a while. But now I’m vaping it’s a very different scenario, When things go wrong instead of storming outside I’ll pick up my ZMax, lean back in my chair, take a swig of coffee and carefully read the page I’ve written up looking meticulously for errors, all the time puffing away on some Blueberry 18mg.”
“Because of the way I handle things when they go wrong now that I Vape, I’ve managed to build entire systems in half the time it would have taken me when I smoked. Being able to sit and vape, looking things over carefully has made me 10 times more efficient than I would have been a year ago and I owe it all to that tasty puff of vapor.”
Since the introduction of vaping, cigarette smoking amongst Americans has dropped to as low as 20% but again, the adverse risks attended by electronic cigarettes are getting closer and closer to categorical. Alongside the recent lung-related illnesses, a recent California Department of Public Health report previously identified 10 carcinogens emitted from e-cigarettes. The irresolution surrounding the other hazardous consequences inspired the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to release an independent report urging public officials to include e-cigarettes in indoor smoking bans.
Moreover, William Andrews, an attorney with GrayRobinson in Jacksonville, Fla. believes vaping actually hinders productivity much more than it boosts it. Workplace reporter, Rosemarie Lally added in a piece confronting the vaping’s productivity defense: “Andrews noted that in addition to the health issue, employers have a productivity issue to consider. Employees who take excessive breaks—whether to smoke cigarettes or vape e-cigarettes—cut into their work time, making them less productive.”