"No one really smokes cigs,” Andy, a high school senior, told Refinery29. it's only a vape or JUUL now.”
What is JUUL?
You might be familiar with with vaping — it’s when you “smoke” the vapor from an electronic cigarette — but JUUL is not as mainstream.
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At least not with uncool adults.
"Some people are, like, weirdly addicted," another college student, Avery, told the website. "But [JUULs] are just funny; they give you a really short buzz like a normal cig."
That’s the point: JUUL is the brand name for a smaller, sleeker version of e-cigarettes that uses rechargeable batteries and flavored liquid that, yes, contain the addictive ingredient nicotine.
Other students told Refinery29 that JUUL, or juuling as using the e-cigarette is called, gets “super addicting,” because of the nicotine, but are they actually safer than regular cigarettes?
Does JUUL cause cancer?
JUUL and other vape pens and e-cigarettes like it are thought to be the better alternative to smoking because they don’t contain the known carcinogens, like tar and chemicals like Chrysene, Cadmium and Nitrosamines.
Nicotine isn’t expressly known to cause cancer, but recent studies show that nicotine can lower the effectiveness of cancer treatments and speed up the growth of new cells, including tumor cells in the lung, colon and breast.
The other dangers of e-cigarettes
JUUL and e-cigarettes like it might keep you from ingesting all the nastiness found in cigarettes, but using them is not risk-free.
According to a publication from Harvard, regular exposure to nicotine can lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, and can increase your heart rate and blood pressure — two factors that can increase your risk for a heart attack.
And then there’s this: Nicotine may also impair brain development in adolescents, leading to problems like poor impulse control and attention deficit disorder.
Not good, considering that vaping is now the most popular way for students to get nicotine, according to the Centers For Disease Control.
JUUL told Refinery29 that they “strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product.”
But they might not have to worry about it for too much longer, but teenage attention is fleeting and “They’ll probably phase out in, like, a year,” according to another college student.
After the time of publication, JUUL issued this statement to Metro US:
"At JUUL Labs, we care deeply about our customers. Many people in the company and their friends use JUUL as well, so we include ourselves as our customers. We are a mission driven company seeking to eliminate cigarettes by providing a true alternative for adult smokers.
JUUL incorporates important technological advances and best practices which include the following; First, JUUL is temperature regulated to minimize the emissions of combustion-related degradation products. Second, we do not add chemicals of concern on key FDA lists such as formaldehyde as ingredients. (Note that nicotine, while on these lists, is included in our product to facilitate switching for adult smokers.) Third, independent third-party laboratories have conducted validated analytical tests on the aerosol contents of JUUL and we are excited to present these results within the SRNT scientific forum at the end of this month.
The best decision is to never start smoking or initiate nicotine-containing products. We stand by our mission to serve as a true alternative to combusted cigarettes for adult smokers."