It seems that among the neverending social issues that cloud headlines and various timelines, the subject of Juuling has caught everyone’s attention. For those who are completely out of the loop and are wondering what a “Juul” is, Juul started off as a more discrete and portable electronic cigarette (or vape) product to help people quit smoking cigarettes. It became popular due to its flash - drive like quality and convenience in everyday life. The vaping industry has been notorious for helping addicts wean off of their unhealthy habit, and, eventually, quit smoking altogether. Although vaping is nothing new, it seems that there is a newfound discomfort among the population, specifically with Juuling, due to the rising fluctuation of younger users. What started out as a small, partying trend among college students has now grown into an epidemic involving teenagers and the possible health risks this particular vape may cause. So, what are the actual health risks behind Juuling?
Just like any social debate, the basic argument structure is based on if we should ban Juuls or not. Common arguments against anti-Juulers are that the nicotine levels are extremely high, the fruity flavors are desirable to minors, and that nobody knows what is actually consumed by Juuling. The major concerning difference between Juuls and other vaping devices is that a Juul contains a 5.0% nicotine strength, which means that one Juul pod’s nicotine level is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. With regular vaping devices, the nicotine level in the juice can range from 0% - 7.2%. With these products, the general idea is to start with the same amount of nicotine level in the juice as in the number of cigarettes the user smokes, and gradually work their way down to 0% intake. Anti-Juuler’s common argument is that this amount of nicotine is toxic and goes against the steps that the vaping industry follows to help those who smoke quit. A quick look on Juul’s official website shows that they offer a 3.0 % nicotine level in their pods and that they were initially created for heavy smokers by heavy smokers as shown in their mission statement, “JUUL Labs was founded by former smokers, James and Adam, with the goal of improving the lives of the world's one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes. We envision a world where fewer people use cigarettes, and where people who smoke cigarettes have the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely, should they so desire”.
If you have been paying attention to any recent news involving the hospitalization of minors due to vaping, the article usually states “Juul”. With these events, people have become more anti-Juul than ever, but there is no scientific evidence that actually supports that Juuling, or vaping in general, is the cause of these hospitalizations. Among the thousands of articles regarding these hospitalizations, many of the victims have reported that they have smoked cigarettes previously, vaped THC from pens, and consumed an absurd amount of Juul pods. With all of these factors it’s hard to point a finger at one cause and with no proof that vaping, or Juuling specifically, is the root of the issue many could be at risk to the tobacco industry. As more articles pop up, the risk of vaping being nationally banned altogether is becoming a real possibility, but that may not help the smoking issue in the long run.
When it comes to the idea that Juul, as a company, is promoting their products to minors to begin a new era of addiction, it all stems out of assumption. To buy Juul devices and pods from the website you must provide proof that you are above the legal age to purchase nicotine products in your state. The Juul Company is not directly engaging or selling with minors, but the local gas stations and other smoke shops are. Clearly, there is a legal validation issue going on where these products are sold, but that is not the Juul Company’s fault, it is the independent establishment’s. Furthermore, with the ban of vaping products all together not only are we, as a nation, making it harder for those trying to quit smoking cigarettes succeed, but also making it easier for the tobacco industry to rise again. From fashion models puffing and passing in the Met Gala bathrooms to characters in movies gracefully holding a cigarette between their lips, smoking is romanticized to audiences everywhere they go. If vaping is banned, this romanticization will only continue. Smoking cigarettes was the trend, vaping is now the trend, and if vaping is gone, then smoking cigarettes will be the trend again.
The reality of smoking is that anything you put in your lungs is harmful. Whether it’s cigarettes, vape juice, marijuana, or CBD oil, all of this can hurt the body. Those who smoke are aware of the risks, even if they are a minor. Honestly, kids may be susceptible to hop onto the latest trends, but these days they are very aware of what they do and know the difference between good and bad.
When it comes to vaping, nobody knows the long-term effects the juice could have on the body. Nicotine itself is an addictive chemical, but there is no scientific back up that the chemical may cause injury. The only smoking products we know affect those in critical ways are cigarettes. It is quite unbelievable that the industry created to help those quit something that knowingly kills could possibly be banned before cigarettes. Even those ridiculous anti-tobacco commercials with the smoking puppets have changed to anti-vaping. It seems that the world is more concerned with what’s trending, rather than fact and evidence. If the population really wants to put an end to smoking it must be a step by step process. Immediately banning vape products before cigarettes will just bring everyone back to square one, including this new generation of young nicotine addicts.