By Charlie Norgaard
In 2018, the FDA announced that new steps needed to be taken in order to address the teen vaping epidemic, a national health concern that has continued to worsen over the last several years.
While E-cigarettes have provided a sustainable outlet for people attempting to quit smoking, the majority of popular e-cigarette products, such as Juul, have ended up in the wrong hands. Many of the big name brands in the e-cig industry even market towards the youth, creating products with flavors such as “creme brulee” and “fruit medley”.
As a result, more and more teens are developing nicotine addictions, which has been proven to increase the likelihood of tobacco use in young adults.
Even more concerning is the lack of research on e-cigarette liquid, more colloquially referred to as “E-juice” or “vape juice”. Considering that E-cigarettes had not gained popularity until around five years ago, funding for such research has been minimal. Furthermore, it’s difficult to determine the long term effects of vaping given the short timeline, and such results likely will not be published for another few years.
As the teen vaping epidemic has continued to worsen, the FDA has taken a strong stance on the issue, forcing big name brands to prohibit the sale of products that are most popular amongst teens. The FDA has so far placed “a ban on sales of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations and strengthened the requirements for age verification of online sales of e-cigarettes.”
In light of this concerning epidemic, OES’s Ethan B. (‘20) has taken it into his own hands to research the dangers of e-cig use. When asked what he will be conducting his research on, Ethan said, “I am looking to see how Juul juice will affect reproduction by studying the juice’s effects on bull sperm mobility.”
Ethan says he will conduct his testing by “mixing juul-juice with a substance similar to human blood with several different concentrations, which I will then add to a petri dish of live bull sperm cells. Following this, I will measure sperm mobility by counting the number of active and inactive sperm cells in the petri dish.”
Not only is this project by far the most unique project I have ever heard of, but it also certifies Ethan as a pioneer of the e-cig research movement. Though he is still in the middle of the testing phase of his project, Ethan’s results will likely shed new light on e-cig consumption and its effects.
I commend Ethan for his efforts to assist in the much needed research on e-cigs and look forward to seeing the results of his unique and highly fascinating project.