Fruit and mint vapes are banned in the U.S. (but no one is really happy), an infamous influencer gets another visit from cancel culture, BTS has a big week, and more of the links and stories you shouldn’t miss this week!
Juul Flavors Are Finally Banned
After years of rising fears over vaping and increasing use among teens, this week the FDA banned most fruit and mint flavored vaping products in the U.S., which have been blamed for young consumers’ adoption of e-cigarette use. That use increased from 20.8% in 2018, to 27.5% in 2019, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey. Mint flavored pods are reportedly Juul’s most popular flavor, making up 70% of their pod sales. According to CNBC, “More than half of teenagers who vape use Juul e-cigarettes, and its mint pods were the No. 1 flavor favored by high school kids, according to two studies published in November in the Journal of the American Medical Association.” Backlash to the ban on social media is coming from all fronts, from vape shop owners to former smokers and libertarians. BuzzFeed reports that both sides of the debate on the ban are unhappy with the decision. 2020 is shaping up to be a battleground over vaping—and teen perception of e-cigarettes is already shifting: the number of teens who say vaping is better for them than cigarettes dropped 11% between 2017 and 2018, according to a YPulse survey.
It’s Another #JamesCharlesIsOverParty
It’s only a few days into 2020, but there’s already been a cancel culture party for beauty influencer James Charles. The infamous YouTuber, who made headlines (and got cancelled) in 2019 for his very public feud with another beauty YouTuber, is this time facing backlash for a serious offense: allegedly using the N-word. In a video posted to his Instagram Stories on New Year’s Eve, Charles is singing along with a song that contains the word. According to Teen Vogue, #JamesCharlesIsOverParty began trending on Twitter, with viewers upset and one calling Charles “the first cancellation of 2020.” In the wake of the backlash Charles has denied that he sings the lyrics, telling accusers, “Turn up the volume & listen, I skip over it.” What’s interesting about this trending topic is that cancel culture is continuing, but clearly doesn’t have a lasting impact—instead, it’s become a way to call out a public persona for something they’ve done, without necessarily having them actually lose fans or followers.
BTS Fans Make #아미가치는클래식 Trend
This was a big week for K-pop idols BTS. On Twitter, the group started a viral hashtag after one of their members (V, if you were curious) asked fans to post videos of themselves playing classical music under the hastag #아미가치는클래식 — which Teen Vogue reports roughly translates to “Classical Music Played by ARMY.” The hashtag trended worldwide, and some of the top videos have racked up hundreds of thousands of views. (Music artists challenging fans to share their creativity could be becoming a Thing—Lizzo asked her own fans to do ballet routines to “Truth Hurts” last year, to delightful results.) That wasn’t the only moment in the spotlight for the group though, they also performed live in Times Square for New Year’s Eve, Oh, they also had two tracks on the U.S. Billboard 200 list this week—a feat for a K-pop group. YPulse has called out the growing popularity of global music and young consumers’ borderless culture mindset, with BTS as a lead example—and the trend only continues to grow.