Teenagers are taking up a new hobby—the Juul. This product, the latest re-chargeable e-cigarette, seems to be targeted towards teens rather than cigarette quitters.
Who is the Juul for?
While Juul, the company, says that they advertise for adult smokers, their ads seem to suggest otherwise. For example, two adult smokers founded the company in order to satisfy their cigarette cravings without actually smoking them. The somewhat healthier alternative to this is vapor, which all e-cigarettes use instead of actual smoke.
However, the majority of the Juul ads contain young people and target technologically savvy generations. The nature of the e-cigarette is technological and this leads to a younger consumer base. It is rechargeable through laptop USB ports and looks like a flash drive device.
A lot of parents and schools didn’t even know what it was before the news headlines sparked conversations. This suggests that younger people were ahead of the curve in this product. Therefore, it might be turning teenagers towards a form of smoking rather than adults helping adults quit.
The CDC lists the statistics of people using e-cigarettes, which clearly shows that 2 million users are in either middle school or high school.
Is it safe?
Recent news stories claim that the Juul might not be as safe as teens think. Some even state that it is going to cause a spark in lung cancer in this younger generation.
The Juul blows a small cloud of vapor and doesn’t contain the tar that real cigarettes do. This is what makes teens think the Juul is safer than regular cigarettes. However, they might not realize that the vapor contains more chemicals than an actual cigarette.
For example, on the CDC website, it lists the common ingredients in e-cigarettes. The main ingredient is nicotine, which is a problem for teens because it is highly addictive. Other than that, the only ingredients listed are “chemicals,” which could mean practically anything.
Moreover, it is tricky to know what is really going into your lungs when u smoke the Juul because the FDA only recently requested that product is investigated.
What is being done?
The best thing that parents and teenagers can do is wait to find out more information about the studies done on the Juul.
After some noise about Juul’s consumers, the company set an age requirement in order to purchase items from their website. Now, to shop online, you must be over the age of 21.
However, this might not deter teenagers from purchasing the popular e-cigarette because it does not apply in stores. Most in-person purchases require you to be 18 years of age. However, middle school and high school students might be able to access these products through friends that are of this age.
The hope is that the expense, with the starter pack costing $50 and refill pods costing $16, will eventually deter teens from smoking e-cigarettes.
Until more information is released through the FDA, teenagers could be taking a health risk by smoking the Juul without really knowing what is inside.