Courier / Abbey Hogge
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The United States of America is a country permeating with too much regulation and restrictions that we must adhere to in order to function freely through our daily lives. The U.S. government and its countless alphabet agencies have created a world in which we must carefully step and navigate to not disturb or betray the guidelines set for us. This inevitably becomes an issue when our country’s citizens attempt to live in a manner as they see fit, while meticulously trying to follow the copious amount of regulations.

Vaping and the now internationally-recognized handheld smoking device have rapidly climbed the ladder in popularity. There’s no doubt that vaping  has become a potential substitute for cigarettes and is generally recognized as a competitor to the traditional tobacco industry giants.

The issue arises now that the nicotine-laden sensation found its way into the hands of minors, especially young, unsuspecting high schoolers, who are usually more curious than responsible. In recent months the United States government and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been attempting to clamp down on the popular vaping industry, citing the many flavors available and their addictiveness as the main issue, at least in reference to minors and young teenagers.

The government, once again, is attempting to use unnecessary regulations to curtail this problem, when it seems that the only restriction needed in this vaping “crisis” we find ourselves in is the standard “no smoking under the age of 18.”

It seems only rational to put the minimum amount of restrictions on vaping and any instruments related to it. A regulation free society might not be completely attainable, nor would it be properly functional, however there must be a minimal amount of regulatory guidelines to allow people a chance to make decisions.   

Additionally, the consequences of vaping have not been wholly negative, and there have been notable positives. The decline of cigarette smokers in the country has been discernible the past couple decades and it seems that vaping might even be helping expedite the process of reducing cigarette smokers in society. It has helped scores of people quit smoking cigarettes. Secondhand smoke exists, but vaping lacks the chemicals and carcinogens that poison the body when smoking cigarettes. This quality alone is enough to hold vaping above cigarette smoking.

We are a country that prides itself on the autonomy of its free citizens, as long as your freely made decision does not encroach or disrupt the rights and freedoms of others. Our government must allow its people to freely decide and pilot their own lives, even if some decisions lead to poor outcomes.

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