Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) is a product advertised as an alternative to traditional tobacco products. Many of these devices are designed to look like traditional cigarettes. Others like JUUL are made to look cool and high tech. Because they “aren’t cigarettes” its easy for many to believe the hype that they are a safe alternative. That’s far from the reality though. Ecigs are another way of getting nicotine into your body.
Teens have always been tempted by the lure of being “Cool” because they smoke cigarettes. Though times have changed and traditional cigarettes are not “in”, a new trend has arose. Juul is one of the latest e-cigarettes on the market and it is designed to be trendy. Juul is a very sleek e-cig designed to resemble a flash drive. It produces less smoke, and can be charged via USB.
What is Juuling?
With the ability to be charger by a Chromebook and less smoke to hid from teachers, teens are even able to sneak these devices around at school. Juuling is a new term for vaping, but does specifically refer to the use of JUUL e-cigaretes.
Juuling and Teens
Although Juul is marketed as a smoking alternative, the device is increasingly being used by children under 18. Because of they are designed to resemble to USB drives, Juuling can be easily hidden from adults and even brought into classrooms. Parents and educators alike are having to educate themselves on this popular trend.
According to a 2017 report from the CDC found that 3 out of every 100 middle school students and 12 out of every 100 high school students reported using electronic cigarettes. To put that into a little better perspective, when entering 6th grade many children are just 11 years old.
An even scarier statistic, children who use e-cigarettes have a 30% higher chance of smoking traditional cigarettes within the next six months of initial use.
Because E-cigarettes “go down smoother” due to their lack of tar and other harmful substances that traditional cigarettes contain, they are much more attractive to children. Many of these products contain flavors and smells to make them more attractive as well.
What is in Juul Pods?
While advertised as “safer choice” to traditional tobacco cigarettes, many people have filed lawsuits against JUUL claiming that the products caused health problems such as nicotine addiction and injuries from device malfunctions.
In each individual JUUL pod, there is around 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine. That is as much as two packs of cigarettes! So how much nicotine does that actually equal? There is 40 mg/mL of Nicotine in each JUUL pod. That is double the concentration of nicotine found in other e-cigarettes!
A fact that really disturbs me personally is that JUUL pods sold in the U.S. contain three times the nicotine permitted in the European Union. If it’s bad enough that it is not allowed in the European Union, why is it on the market at that rate in the United States?!
All that extra nicotine isn’t the only thing packed into these tiny pods though.
Thankfully the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is really starting to crack down on e-cigarette companies like JUUL. Knowing what is in products helps consumers make better decisions on their purchases and usage.
The FDA requires these companies to list the ingredients as well as any and all health effects. Here is what is in Juul Pods:
- Nicotine: Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical, especially for adolescents, found in the leaves of a tobacco plant. Even small usage of nicotine can impair overall health.
- Benzoic Acid: Benzoic Acid is unfortunately a common additive to many foods. The FDA has not officially deemed benzoic acid safe for consumption, it is used frequently in manufactured products to inhibit the growth of both bacteria and fungi.
- Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid. Though the FDA does recognize propylene glycol as “generally recognized as safe” for use in food, it is a common ingredient used to make antifreeze and deicing solutions for cars, airplanes, and boats; to make polyester compounds; and as solvent in the paint and plastics
- Flavors & Extracts : These are listed as a general ingredient, with the specific ingredients currently not shared by JUUL. Without knowing what the ingredients are, you cannot rule out any possible allergen or toxic chemicals.
- Glycerine: This is an additive that is considered safe for adults. Glycerine is a naturally occurring colorless, odorless liquid chemical that is non-toxic and helps to add flavors to products
What are the Side Effects of JUULing?
With any nicotine based product, there is a long list of short and long term side effects. Here are just a few of the side effects of JUULing:
- Short Term: Dry mouth, eyes, and skin, Bleeding gums, Increased Heart Rate & Blood Pressure, Cough, Dizziness, Nose Bleeds, and more.
- Long Term: Decline of lung tissue, Negative effects on brain development, Lung disease, Chronic bronchitis, and Insulin resistance.
Juuling and Teens, a bad combination!
Not only is it illegal to provide any child under 18 any form of tobacco, it’s just plain dangerous. According to this study, nicotine primes the brain to make harder drugs like cocaine seem more rewarding.
Let’s help make as many parents and educators aware of this scary trend. You can do so by simply sharing this article on any social media or email, and even by sharing the following infographic.
Awareness is the first step to help end the teen trend of Juuling!