Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson are getting heat from experts for their lines of nicotine-flavored vapes.
The retired heavyweights, aged 70 and 57 respectively, both have brands that peddle the relatively untested technology, which in recent months has been subject to increased scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The e-cigarettes are sold in loud, colorful packaging that at a glance one might mistake for candy, and in an assortment of flavors ranging from strawberry shortcake and cotton candy.
Both legends bill the ventures as being part of burgeoning lifestyle brands, and advertise them alongside CBD and TCH-laden products like cartridges and pre-rolls.
Hogan, meanwhile, also shills capsules containing kratom, a tree leaf that mimics the high from opiates, which the FDA warns can prove addictive. Preciously unregulated, it’s recently been made illegal in 15 countries and six states.
Flavored vapes, meanwhile, were recently outlawed across the entire US – largely due to how popular they have proved among minors. Still, several of the brands the stars are shilling online are flavored – something several over the weekend cited.
The retired heavyweights, aged 70 and 57 respectively, both have brands that peddle the relatively untested technology, which in recent months has been subject to increased scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Both legends bill the ventures – Tyson 2.0 and Immortal by Hulk Hogan -as being part of burgeoning lifestyle brands, and advertise them alongside CBD and THC-laden products like cartridges, pre-rolls, and flavored gummies
In comments to The New York Post, figures familiar with both brands – including one who served as the White House’s foremost authority on drugs- accused the former champs of purposely packaging the products in a way that appeals to kids.
Jim Carroll, the Donald Trump-appointed ‘drug czar,’ told the paper in an interview on Saturday: ‘For so-called celebrities to be promoting products that are dangerous for kids.’
The former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy further said: ‘[Today] is a sad day.’
Others, including the boss of an advocacy group designed to combat underage vaping, expressed similar sentiments, accusing the combat sports veterans of engaging in campaigns designed to get young people ‘hooked’.
‘Flavor hooks kids on these products,’ said Meredith Berkman, cofounder of New York City-based Parents Against Vaping e-Cigarettes, which she founded in 2018 with two other moms concerned about the way vaporizers are being markets.
She called it ‘disheartening’ to see seminal figures like Tyson and the so-called Hulkster using ‘their likeness to market flavored poison.’
Former New York City Sheriff Edgar Domenech also decried the aging athletes’ e-cig companies, both of which were unveiled within the past two years – well after the FDA implemented a ban on the sale of many flavored e-cigarettes in 2020.
That said, several stores have continued to sell the illicit products – forcing police departments like he Sheriff’s Office that Domenech once headed to ramp up enforcement efforts.
“There’s this perception that it must be ok because they all over the place,” Domenech told the Post about Tyson and Hogan’s vapes, which both feature the celebrities’ likenesses and names all over the packaging.
‘It’s not okay. They’re illegal. They’re targeting our kids.’
Others, including the boss of an advocacy group designed to combat underage vaping, expressed similar sentiments, accusing the combat sports veterans of engaging in campaigns designed to get young people ‘hooked’
Hogan, meanwhile, also shills capsules containing kratom, a tree leaf that mimics the high from opiates, which the FDA warns can prove addictive. Preciously unregulated, it’s recently been made illegal in 15 countries and six states
As previously mentioned, the FDA implemented a ban on the sale of many flavored e-cigarettes in 2020, allowing only ones that flavored as are tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen to remain.
Despite the recent clampdown, e-cigarettes, especially disposable devices with sky-high amounts of nicotine, have flown off the shelves in recent years, with sales ballooning more than 46 percent during the Covid pandemic, according to a CDC report.
In fact, sales of disposable vapes more than doubled from January 2020 to December 2022, with nearly 52 percent of total e-cigarette unit sales being disposables last year.
And it’s particularly popular in young people.
Over nine percent of American teens use e-cigarettes, according to the FDA.
Additionally, more than 14 percent of high school students in the US – about 2.14 million teens – currently use e-cigarettes.
If you have vape tongue, curbing the habit is the first step.
‘First thing, stop vaping or really cut down your vaping because that’s going to really help,’ Dr Beggs said.
The FDA implemented a ban on the sale of many flavored e-cigarettes in 2020, allowing only ones that flavored as are tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen to remain
While trying to kick the habit, focus on treating the symptoms. This includes drinking more water to prevent dehydration and prioritizing oral hygiene. Regularly brushing flossing, and cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper can all help, Beggs said.
In addition to containing high concentrations of the addictive chemical nicotine, often as much as five percent, e-cigarettes contain risky additives, including flavoring agents, glycerol, and metals that are released into the liquids when the battery heats up.
Long-term exposure to diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, two flavoring additives, has been linked to shortness of breath, chronic cough, asthma, and obstructed airways.
For instance, the authors of the statement cited evidence that exposing the cells that line the airways and lungs to aerosol produced by eight different types of flavored Juul pods increased inflammation, caused damage to the cells’ DNA, and impaired the function of the lung’s protective barrier.
Another common ingredient in e-cigarettes under scrutiny is glycerol, a vehicle for flavors and the compound that produces the tickle in the back of the throat that many smokers crave when looking for a non-cigarette alternative.
More than 2.5 million US children use e-cigarettes – rising a half-million from last year and reversing downward trends in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) reports that 2.55 million Americans in middle or high school admit to using the device in the past 30 days. It is a jump of 500,000, or of 24 per cent, from 2021. It is the first increase since the CDC started gathering annual data in 2019
The legal purchasing age for e-cigarettes has been raised from 18 to 21, though not all vendors ask customers for age verification
The AHA experts wrote: ‘Glycol mixtures are used to create theatrical fog and smoke, and long-term occupational exposure is associated with higher reports of wheezing and chest tightness.
‘Short-term exposure to glycol mixtures is associated with acute dry cough and throat irritation, as well as decreased lung function in individuals with higher exposures.’
A recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yielded a shocking finding – that more than 2.5 million American youth are hooked on nicotine in e-cigarette devices.
Manufacturers and retailers have signaled their willingness to put out products that entice young people, even those who otherwise would not have picked up a nicotine product, drawing the ire of medical experts and parents.
The rate at which American high school students used e-cigarettes regularly jumped 25 percent from 2021 to 2022, driven primarily by disposable devices such as the mega-popular Elf Bar.
Juul also appeared to mimic advertising tropes used with much success by tobacco companies, an example of the burgeoning industry taking a page out of the latter’s playbook.
It took decades of pressure and research from the medical and research communities to hold tobacco industries accountable for falsely insisting that their products were not addictive.
The US Surgeon General first warned of a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer in 1964, but it was not until the late 80s and 90s when people began getting seriously sick after years of smoking that attitudes began to change.
A similar campaign has appeared to play out for e-cigarettes, with industry heavy hitters like Juul now enemy number one for helping to hook about 2.6 million American teens on nicotine.
Now, just as focused around the notion that more should be done to regulate access to cigarettes and the companies that make them, influential groups like the AHA and the AMA have been calling for stricter regulations on who can buy them, use them and where.
There was a brief window of time in which e-cigarettes were accepted in indoor public places, even hospitals, an idea that MAY appear outlandish but at second glance might not be, given that smoking was only banned in bars and restaurants about 20 years ago.
Source of data and images: dailymail