JUUL Is a Problem | Teen Ink

JUUL Is a Problem

April 3, 2019
By Emir SILVER, Tirana, Other
Emir SILVER, Tirana, Other
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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"A friend to all is a friend to none"-Aristotle

6% of people aged 15-17 and 8% of people aged 18-21 year olds had used a JUUL between one and thirty times in the past thirty days, according to a study (Brodwin 2018). JUUL is an e-cigarette that was created in July 2017. It’s goal is to eliminate cigarettes by making cigarette smokers switch to JUUL. However, JUUL couldn’t accomplish its goal yet.

Unfortunately, they did something very bad and something that they hadn’t meant to do. Instead of getting adults to change to Juul, they made teenagers addicted to JUULs. You might say that JUULs are harmless. However, JUULs aren’t as good as they sound and are actually a lot like cigarettes.

 “JUUL devices heat up a cartridge containing oils to create vapor, which quickly dissolves into the air. The device is small enough to fit in a closed fist and has a sleek, tech-inspired design that resembles a USB flash drive” (Truth Initiative). JUULS come in eight flavours: virginia tobacco, mint, classic tobacco, mango, cucumber, creme, menthol, and fruit. It’s been proven that the flavours have a big role in getting teenagers hooked (Truth Initiative). They do sound a lot more different than cigarettes but they are actually not. JUUL pods each have %5 nicotine which is around as much nicotine as there is in a pack of cigarettes (Becker). Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical which is considered as a drug. This means that JUUL is almost as addictive as cigarettes. JUUL is also toxic to fetuses and impairs brain and lung development if used during puberty like a lot of teens are doing at the moment (Fraga). JUUL is highly addictive and harmful for teenagers. This is very concerning for the next generation.

Tobacco causes six million deaths each year worldwide which is a death every five seconds (Martin, Jelic). 600,000 of the six million deaths are non-smokers who had been exposed to secondhand smoke (Martin, Jelic). 25% of heart disease deaths and 75% of lung disease deaths are directly caused by smoking (Martin, Jelic). Over a lifetime, smoking can cause you to die up to 12 years earlier than you would’ve if you hadn’t smoked (Martin, Jelic). JUUL has some similar effects. Although JUUL doesn’t have tobacco, it still has some other harmful ingredients. “‘It's not just harmless water vapor and flavor,’ says Dr. Winickoff. ‘Not only is it made with N-Nitrosonornicotine, a dangerous Group I carcinogen (and the most carcinogenic substance we know of), you're also inhaling Acrylonitrile, which is a highly poisonous compound used in plastics and adhesives and synthetic rubbers.’” JUUL can cause coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks (Mateo). Puffing one e-cigarette increases the risk of a heart disease which could lead to death (Mateo). Recently, an 18 year old ended up in the hospital for respiratory failure. She was diagnosed with “wet lung”. It happened three weeks after she had started vaping (Mateo). JUUL has severe consequences which show that only smokers should switch to JUUL to try and stop smoking, not non-smokers.   

However, JUUL isn’t completely bad and has a good goal that would possibly benefit everyone if it was achieved. Even though JUUL contain nicotine, they don’t contain tobacco which is something that cigarettes do (Is Vaping Safer than Smoking Cigarettes?). “Unlike cigarettes, JUUL does not involve combustion. That means your lungs won't be exposed to carbon monoxide and other harmful toxins found in smoke” (McClure). Cigarettes have hundreds of chemicals that can cause cancer while JUUL only has five of them including a type of acid and a nicotine solution (McClure). However, JUUL still has nicotine which means that scientists still don’t know what the long term effects are. Scientists aren’t sure yet but it is probably safe to switch to JUUL if you are a cigarette smoker (Marcus). But if you already don’t smoke, then you shouldn’t start smoking or vaping, especially if you are under 18 years old. If JUUL does turn out to be less harmful than cigarettes, which it probably will, then that would benefit everyone as smokers would be vaping which is less harmful and non-smokers would be exposed to less harmful smoke secondhand in public.

JUUL is getting the new generation addicted to vaping at an early age. And probably most of the teens vaping now won’t stop and will vape for all their life as JUUL is addictive; they may even switch to smoking cigarettes later on. JUUL isn’t as innocent as it sounds and has bad health effects, especially for teens whose bodies and brains haven’t fully developed yet. JUUL needs to be stopped before it causes even more damage to the new generation. JUUL is a lot like cigarettes and should only be available to adults.

The author's comments:

I saw a lot of other teenagers on social media writing about how they JUUL a lot and the sad part is it makes them think that they are "cool". So I decided to write about this topic to raise awareness.

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