Controversy has flared up in the U.S. last month since electronic cigarettes caused a teenager to have the lungs of an old man. According to the results compiled so far, 13 people were killed by electronic cigarettes and hundreds were struggling to lung disease. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people to refrain from using liquid-type electronic cigarettes and banned the sale of flavored liquid-type electronic cigarettes, known to be heavily smoked by U.S. teenagers. Due to this reason, there are many voices related to electronic cigarettes in Korea. Regarding this, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said that it has decided to recommend stop using liquid-type electronic cigarettes. However, since the causal relationship between severe lung diseases and electronic cigarettes has not been established yet, it caused confusion in society.
In many cases, people smoke electronic cigarettes instead of regular ones because of the perception that they would be less harmful. On the other hand, this time it was revealed that the facts about electronic cigarettes were a misunderstanding. As soon as the U.S. revealed its link between lung disease and electronic cigarettes, cases of damage are snowballing. Of course, they would not have distributed electronic cigarettes like this even though they knew it is dangerous. Given the current situation, however, companies that lacked sufficient verification and prudence from the initial stage of distribution cannot avoid criticism.
The bigger problem is that flavored electronic cigarettes have many different flavors and are often tempted by teenagers. This is because society cannot protect teenagers who have no perfect judgment from cigarettes which are harmful to adults too. In the United States, it is worrisome how the body of children who are growing up will react to it, as there are many teenagers already using it. Currently, U.S. media outlets have reported that the CEO of the mainstream U.S. electronic cigarette maker “Jules Raps” is stepping down, and advertisements are banned. In addition, many countries that distribute electronic cigarettes are looking for measures against it.
However, in Korea, they are still in a state of advising people not to use electronic cigarettes not in a state of banning. It is the role of the government to give up profits from these companies and protect members of society if there is some concern. So, the government should put restrictions on it as soon as possible before further damage appears and think about countermeasures. We must remember that the time that we think “it is already late” is the “earliest.”
Cho Moon-kyung email@example.com
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