Over the past couple of years, JUUL sales have skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular e-cigarettes on the market. JUUL was created as a smoking alternative for those who use tobacco products. JUUL Labs believes that their alternative “vaping” method is not appropriate for people who do not already smoke. Unfortunately, with the JUUL’s trendy, USB-shaped style and flavorful e-liquid cartridges, it has become highly popular among teens and young adults. Director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, M.D. expressed that the use of JUUL among kids “threatens our progress in reducing youth e-cigarette use.”
Is JUUL Safer than Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is an addictive drug found in tobacco products. According to the NIH, nicotine is known to have serious systemic side effects which can adversely affect major organs, including the heart, reproductive system, lungs and kidneys. It is controversial that Nicotine is considered to be a safer alternative to tobacco products, including cigarettes. Even though e-cigarettes have fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes, all JUUL e-cigarettes have a high level of nicotine. According to the manufacturer, a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.
Risks Associated with Vaping
Researchers and scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of these products because they are still relatively new. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that “e-cigarette use among youth and young adults is a public health concern, and that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless.” According to the CDC, the aerosol from e-cigarettes (what the users breathe from the device and exhale) contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including:
• Ultrafine particles
• Chemical flavoring
• Volatile organic compounds
• Cancer-causing chemical
• Heavy metals
The risks don’t just come from the aerosol in JUUL products. There have been cases of defective e-cigarette batteries which have caused explosions and fires. These explosions have led to serious injuries. Also, people have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes. Bearing all of this in mind, many people who use e-cigarettes end up smoking tobacco products, such as cigarettes.
JUUL Popularity Among High School Students
The risk associated with e-cigarette use is highest for teens and young adults. Nicotine harms adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20’s. According to the FDA, e-cigarette use rose from 1.5% to 16% among high school students and from 0.6% to 5.3% among middle school students from 2011 to 2015; over 2 million high school and middle school students used e-cigarettes in 2016. How is that possible if you have to be 18 years old to purchase tobacco products? The cheap cost, tasty flavors and discreet product design, teens are still finding a way to get their hands on the JUUL.
Marketing Strategies Targeted at Teens and Adolescents
Over the past several months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a series of actions as part of its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to more immediately target the illegal sales of e-cigarettes to youth, as well as youth-oriented marketing and appeal of these products. Parents are advised to set a good example for their children by not using e-cigarettes themselves. Also, talking about the harmful effects with their children. Teachers have also been advised about the recent incline of teen JUUL use and the popularity of use by students in schools, classrooms and bathrooms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website offers information on the harmful effects of e-cigarettes, as well as resources for parents, teachers, and healthcare providers. Stay updated on more news like this by visiting our website at: www.occumedne.com.
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