If you’ve kept up, reports of a mysterious lung disease that seemingly has ties to e-cigarettes, or vapes, have been piling up recently. At the the time of writing, around 380 cases have been reported in the U.S., with the cause of the disease still unknown as of now.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that all reported cases have a history of vaping, with most of the patients saying that they used THC (a component of cannabis) in their vaporisers—vapes, for short. However, with the CDC unable to ascertain the exact source of the disease, they are currently recommending that e-cigarette users hold off on using the devices for now:
“Until we know more, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, CDC recommends that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products.”
As such, worldwide broadcast network CNN will stop running e-cigarette ads on its network, including those of popular brand, Juul. According to this report, CNN President, Jeff Zucker, told employees at an internal town-hall meeting that no other brands such as Juul will be allowed to make purchases on ads moving forward.
“Given the recent news reports of serious illnesses and deaths linked to the product category and the subsequent warnings… CNN has revised its policies regarding e-cigarette advertising, and will not air ads in this category effective immediately.”
Right now, there have been 6 reported deaths from the disease in the U.S., and it’s turning users of vapes and e-cigarettes away from the habit. Often marketed as a “safe” alternative to conventional methods of smoking tobacco, vapes have turned into an goldmine for brands—the nicotine content (in most e-liquids) is highly addictive in nature, and the product is largely unregulated.
Brands like Juul have marketed their products through social media, and the American company recently moved their adverts to TV ads, with a recent campaign costing around US$10 million. Which begs the question: if tobacco and cigarette ads are illegal in traditional media spaces, why are e-cigarettes allowed to be advertised?
For now, the source of the mysterious lung disease remains unknown. The CDC recommends, as well, that those who do use e-cigarettes, refrain from using modified substances in their units.
“Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products (e.g., e-cigarette or vaping products with THC, other cannabinoids) off the street, and should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.”