Guns vs. Vapes

Guns or vapes — which deadly device has taken longer to spur political action in America?

There are an estimated 390 million guns in the United States

Guns vs. E-cigarettes in America. Following 12 vaping-related deaths, multiple states-initiated bans on e-cigarettes. President Trump even chimed in. Meanwhile, there have been over 280 mass shootings in 2019 alone and no new federal gun-regulating legislation in 25 years based on a report from the Gun Violence Archive.

JUUL sold over 16 million devices in 2017 and Guns sold over 25 million in 2017. Not counting online and gun show sales. Over 4% of Americans use e-cigarettes. Roughly 30% of Americans say they own a gun. To purchase an e-cigarette there’s an age limit and you have to show ID. For guns, it’s not even close. In September 2019, Walmart completely stopped selling vapes in response to the spate of deaths — but around the same time only limited their sale of ammunition. Walmart supplies roughly 20% of the nation's ammunition. For over 20 years, the CDC has been effectively blocked from researching gun violence. Walmart’s share of the market was not immediately clear, but data from market research firm Euromonitor shows the business of e-vapor products in the U.S. has grown from $1.1 billion in 2013 to $6.8 billion in 2018.

Research into vaping deaths was personally encouraged by Trump. Even the federal government has weighed in. In a new National Youth Tobacco survey, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the U.S. has 5 million underage e-cigarette users, who are drawn to flavored products in particular. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration plans to remove all flavors other than tobacco from the market. There are an estimated 390 million guns in the United States. Retail analyst Bruce Winder agreed e-cigarettes do not have the political baggage of guns and ammunition. Instead, an e-cig ban reinforces Walmart’s role in protecting America’s youth, so the risk of alienating customers is low.