Pax Labs advertises its e-cigarette, the JUUL, as “The Satisfying Alternative to Cigarettes.” The Juul is a small, discrete e-cigarette into which pods containing flavored nicotine solution are placed. JUUL nicotine liquids are sold in a number of candy-like flavors including mango and crème brulee. The vapor exhaled from JUUL e-cigarettes is relatively odorless and undetectable compared to standard cigarettes. The combination of size, flavor and discreteness has made JUUL popular with children and young adults.
Among e-cigarettes, the Juul contains a high nicotine content (0.7mL with 5% nicotine by weight) that the company says is meant to simulate the feel of a cigarette. One JUULpod, which is the cartridge that holds the nicotine solution, is approximately equivalent to 1 pack of cigarettes or 200 puffs. The intensity of the JUUL is such that the company advises new users to try the product sparingly and with patience, since its first-time use may produce discomfort from inhaling a high concentration of nicotine.
The risk for nicotine addiction is high. The JUUL’s discreet, USB-like design has found popularity among adolescents. Since the brains of young adults are still developing, introducing the dopamine- releasing effects of nicotine early in life desensitizes the neuroreceptors for dopamine, thus requiring higher and more frequent doses of nicotine to achieve the same high that was initially achieved. For long-term users who began to take nicotine in their adolescence, the risk for depression and other mood disorders increase later in life. PAX Labs is not forthcoming about the highly addictive solution used in the Juul, in effect creating more addicts rather than weaning smokers off traditional cigarettes.
JUUL Use On The Rise With Children
The Juul has become popular among underage teens. The device’s discreet design paired with its colorful marketing and flavor varieties has gained popularity in school settings, as the Juul is easy to hide, simple to use, and accessible given that it is not sold only in 18-and-over establishments. Middle and high school staff have taken measures to combat the prevalence of vaping, or juuling—the term given to using a Juul—by monitoring bathrooms to prevent the shared use of a Juul device, suspending, and even expelling students for violating anti-smoking policies. Nationwide data, however, show that their efforts are failing.
The 2017 Monitoring the Future survey on adolescent drug use found that 11 percent of 12th graders, 8.5 percent of 10th graders, and 3.5 percent of 8th graders had vaped nicotine in the previous 30 days, the New York Times reports. The Surgeon General’s Report on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults found the following:
- In 2015, more than 3 million youth in middle and high school, including about 1 of every 6 high school students, used e-cigarettes in the past month.
- More than a quarter of youth in middle and high school have tried e-cigarettes.
- The prevalence of past 30-day use of e-cigarettes is similar among middle school students (5.3%) and adults 25 years of age and older (5.7%).
- More than 85% of e-cigarette users ages 12-17 use flavored e-cigarettes, and flavors are the leading reason for youth use.
The lack of research on the long-term health effects of vaping should be of concern to any parent with an underage Juul user. In addition, the high nicotine concentration of Juul products creates a risk of long term nicotine addiction in children who use Juul products.
Have You or Someone You Know Used Juul E-Cigarettes?
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E-Cigarettes and Contaminants
E-cigarettes are routinely advertised as the safer alternative to smoking. While it is true that e-cigarettes do not contain the tar found in cigarettes, numerous studies have detected harmful toxins and carcinogens, like lead, chromium, nickel, formaldehyde and arsenic inside the liquid of the dispenser and the produced vapor. Chromium and nickel have been linked to respiratory disease and lung cancer, and lead can cause neurotoxicity and cardiovascular disease. All of the found toxins in e-cigarettes are detrimental to pulmonary health.
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