It looks like a flash drive but it’s called a Juul. A type of e-cigarette, it delivers a powerful dose of nicotine via vaporized liquids, in doses higher than most other e-cigarettes, without the cloying smell and smoke or unpleasant taste of a typical cigarette. After a decade-long decline in teen smoking, vaping or juuling has become a growing (and concerning) trend with 18.5% of eighth graders using it in 2017, up 17.5% from the year prior. The vaping market is projected to reach $5.1 billion by the end of 2018, and all three major tobacco companies are involved.
Juuling has become a teen status symbol and it is often used in the bathroom during the few minutes before or even during classes. The starter kit contains the device, charger and four flavor pods, and retails for $50. Additional liquid pods are sold separately at roughly $4.25, less than the average retail price for a pack of cigarettes. One pod is comparable to one pack of cigarettes, or 200 puffs. With nicotine-free, sweet flavored vaping sauces like “Creme Brulee,” “Mango” and “Fruit Medley” pods are particularly attractive to teens. To make matters worse, juuling can also be done with marijuana.
Make no mistake about it; e-cigarettes and juuling are absolutely addictive even if teens are blissfully ignorant of the risk! According to the Journal of the American Medical Association – Pediatrics, a growing body of research is linking teen e-cigarette use to traditional cigarette use later in life. And, a recent study in Pediatrics measured toxic levels of acrolein and propylene oxide in teen e-cigarette users compared to non-users. Side effects of use also include impulsiveness, difficulty paying attention, gum disease, lung damage, bronchitis, wheezing, and high blood pressure. Dr. Yagoda’s advice? “Say no to Juuls and dare to be too cool to Juul!”