In recent news, the FDA is considering banning electronic cigarettes. Their concern is that there is an “epidemic” of youth use, creating a new generation of “nicotine addicts.”

The FDA is allowing companies like Juul to create plans to decrease youth use. If they can’t, the FDA will take their products off the market. This is terrible news.

The number of adolescents using the e-cigs is indeed cause for concern, however. Over two million users are in high school, according to the FDA.

I understand the argument and where the FDA is coming from, but I don’t think the FDA is considering that, now, nicotine use is likely inevitable in younger folk. This especially true because of nicotine’s addictive qualities. We might as well let them do it in a healthy way.

Vaping has become a new alternative to smoking, and studies show that it’s substantially healthier than traditional cigarettes. This is inherently better than the status quo.

Sure, one could argue that nicotine is harmful, and that’s likely true, but for people that do partake in the stimulant, it’s a better option.

There’s also another level to this: profit and big tobacco. Tobacco companies’ shares have soared since the FDA has considered the change. Pharmaceutical companies also gain a profit by curing ailments like COPD, asthma and lung cancer, as well as producing alternatives like nicotine gum and patches.

As a current smoker seeking alternatives, I see this as an obvious ploy to gain profit by companies that have deep roots in the industry, afraid of the axe of vaping. We need these healthier alternatives to escape from avoidable impacts to tobacco smoking.

Last year, Emporia State changed their policy on tobacco use, and in the process banned e-cigs, vapes and other nicotine related devices on campus. Much like the FDA, ESU didn’t offer an alternative or possible medical assistance to help those with nicotine addiction. Thus, vaping seems like the best bet for smokers. We should keep it that way.

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