Juul Labs touts its Juul e-smoking device as a way to improve the lives of the millions of smokers in the world; the reality is that it is now the most popular new way to get our youth to begin smoking. While they claim to never advertise to youth (and even don’t sell online to anyone under 21); Juulpods and devices come in flavors that appeal directly to that market. By selling Crème Brulee, Fruit Medley, and Mango; Juul has become increasingly popular in high schools and on college campuses across the US. This is easily seen with a quick search on Instagram or YouTube to find videos of kids using the devices in school classrooms and bathrooms.
Along with the appealing flavor and odor of Juulpods, the devices themselves have become a draw to youth. Dubbed the “iPhone of vaping”, the Juul has a sleek design that is meant to look nothing like other smoking devices. It is refillable, reusable, and charges using a USB port. With its design, it can be easily concealed in normal classroom items like Sharpies and is easily mistaken as a normal thumb drive any student may carry. The ability to conceal possession and use of the Juul is just another reason this has become such a popular smoking device for American high school students.
While these devices are commonly thought of as the healthy alternative to cigarettes, more and more studies are showing the unhealthy side effects that come along with vaping. These devices have been shown to contain many of the same toxic chemicals as traditional cigarettes and tobacco products; including toxic metals such as chromium, lead, and nickel. These metals and other carcinogens have been linked to problems in the human lungs, liver, heart, immune system, and brain. Vaping has also been shown to double the heart attack risk in users. This is not just the water vapor that many have portrayed it to be.
Juul is relatively new to the vaping market, but has made a very fast and dramatic impact. Combining incorrect information on the health of the product with flavors and designs that appeal directly to youth, Juul has quickly become a major player in the youth smoking market. The juice contains twice the amount of highly addictive nicotine and is now being proven in multiple studies to have similar hazardous materials and carcinogens in the inhaled smoke as traditional cigarettes. Despite what some may think, this is not a positive for the tobacco market and must be watched carefully.
Area Substance Abuse Council