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Our View: History Shows Ban Ineffective From prohibition in the 1920s to marijuana bans in the 1970s, america's past demonstrates if people want something they'll find a way to get it

VAPING stories have been a favorite of the news channels in recent years; every day there is something new.

It used to be things like “JUUL Sales Rising” and “Teen Nicotine Addictions Increase.”

Now, it’s “Girl In Coma,” “Tenth Death Related to Vaping,” “Mystery Illness Found Growing in Lungs.”

While this ban could be the cure-all for teen nicotine addiction, it could also be just an inconvenience and something else for teens to continue finding their way around.

The ban placed on flavored JUUL pods seems like a good initiative towards getting kids to stop participating in activities that aren’t the best for them, but what about everything else highschoolers do?

Have we already forgotten it was White Claw summer?

Summer boat rides and campfires, parties, gatherings of the student body on Friday nights in Fall, and college visits with fraternity parties have all been full of many things that are flavored and illegal to most students.

There are barrels worth of different flavors of alcohol, between all the brands and types, and many are fruity flavored: blue-raspberry, mango, strawberry, etc. It is illegal for teens to drink these, much like it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 or 21 (depending on where you live) to purchase nicotine and tobacco products. Gas stations still sell and advertise all the different versions of alcohol they want but the flavored JUUL pods are nowhere to be found. Vaping is dangerous; people have died from it -- there is no denying that. Alcohol is dangerous, too. Through early October, 12 people had died from vaping related illnesses in 2019; 88,000 people die per year in alcohol-related incidents according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The Roaring 20s, nearly a century ago and remembered as prohibition, highlighted the ban of alcohol sales (not the ban of consumption).

What happened? Violence increased, gangs grew, alcohol was poisoned by the government, and dangerous moonshine was being sold discreetly. There was also job loss, tax loss, corruption, and much more. Things seemingly aren’t as wild as they were back then, but still, history has proven that if people want something they are going to find some way to get it, and there can be negative outcomes that come with their actions. When putting a ban in place on something many people use regularly, there is always a risk of what the reaction will be, and how strongly people will fight if they choose to.

During the 1970s, marijuana restrictions were inacted. So, what did our parents do? They had weed imported (got it from people that had it imported), and the weed from other countries was stronger than what they had before. While there was some movement towards the legalization of CBD and cannabis for medical purposes in the late 1970s and 1980s, it remained prohibited on the federal level and only 13 people actually received it for health issues-they lost the use of medical marijuana soon after they gained it.

This new ban has good intentions, and it has the potential to prevent teen smoking and nicotine addiction. Who knows? Maybe it will. But remember this: history tends to repeat itself. If this is the case, this ban does nothing but limit the flavors of JUUL pods available in gas stations across the state. If people want to vape, they will find a way, and it may be more dangerous.

Update: Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens granted a preliminary injunction on October 15th against the flavored-vape ban.
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