Electronic Liquid Inhalation Devices
An electronic liquid inhalation device, more commonly known as a vape, is recognized as an alternative form of smoking. As vapes come in many different styles, these alternative gadgets used for smoking are beginning an uprise across the nation. Although tobacco products are still present and being sold, electronic smoking may have the potential to cause the tobacco industry to crash, introducing vaping as the new primary form of smoking.
Although it was not finished due to lack of technology, the idea of electronic cigarettes was initially originated around the 1960s. In the early 2000s, electronic cigarettes were introduced to the United States market. With the increase in smoking technology, electronic cigarettes became fairly popular to the adult population. Over the past few years, this alternative form of smoking has skyrocketed in numbers. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the use of electronic cigarettes or vapes have doubled every year since 2010. Out of all the different types of electronic smoking, a certain brand of e-cig has seemed to gain an immense amount of popularity. That brand is the JUUL.
For those who are unaware, a JUUL is a form of electronic smoking that is described to have a “USB like” design. Unlike other forms of vaping, JUULs run off of what is known as a JUUL pod which is a small “box-like” vessel that contains a type vaporizable liquid better known as e-liquid. Even though the JUUL pods found inside a JUUL does not contain any physical tobacco, every single JUUL pod contains the highly addictive chemical known as nicotine. A single JUUL pod is known to have the equivalent nicotine content of a twenty count pack cigarettes. Considering the fact that the JUUL is labeled as an electronic cigarette, in addition to the product containing nicotine, the JUUL is supposed to be marketed to persons eighteen or older. Recent studies show that the JUUL company may have been secretly attempting to persuade under age teens into buying their product.
In 2016, approximately 2.2 million JUULs were sold. In 2017, JUUL sales jumped up to around 16.2 million. That is nearly eight times as much! With the JUUL controlling nearly thirty-three percent of the electronic cigarette market, it is believed that one of the reasons that the sales for JUUL have skyrocketed is because of the product’s popularity in the teenage population. A combination of misleading advertising and unprotected availability may have been the reason behind such popularity in teens.
According to Truth Initiative, after a survey was conducted of one-thousand teens, seventy-four percent says that they obtained their JUUL from a regular convenience store or gas station. If a teenager is capable of purchasing a JUUL while being under the age of eighteen, there is a possibility that the JUUL company is secretly making an attempt to sell to teenagers as the JUUL was properly labeled as a tobacco product, the underage purchasing of a tobacco product is against the law. Along the lines of JUUL being targeted to teens, the accessories one can find to accompany a JUUL can be seen as favorable for a younger population. Although there are tobacco products that offer different flavors outside of “tobacco”, selling e-liquid that come in flavors such as creme, mint, mango, or fruit make it much more likely to attract a younger population of customers. Also, there is a wide variety of JUUL “skins” that one can purchase to customize their JUUL device. While there are some individuals part of the adult population who may enjoy the choice to customize their JUUL, the idea of a custom JUUL could potentially be a lot more appealing to an adolescent, and since a JUUL already looks like a USB drive a customised JUUL skin would make a JUUL even easier to pass by teachers or parents. Plus, who has actually seen an adult smoke a JUUL before? (not including young adults between the age of eighteen and twenty-six)
One may argue that vaping or smoking electronically is healthier or less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. In some cases this is true because there are e-liquids that actually do not contain any nicotine, but even with the absence of nicotine, many vaping products still leave you at risk for smoking related (lung, mouth or throat) types of cancer. Although vaping a nicotine-free e-liquid can help reduce nicotine intake, the JUUL does not offer such opportunity for as every JUUL pod contains at least three percent nicotine. Since the JUUL pods do not contain physical tobacco, the e-liquid found inside a JUUL pod is composed of nicotine salts. In comparison, traditional cigarettes use nicotine in its freebase form. This means that the nicotine is in its purest form, making it more potent and more easily absorbed into the body than nicotine salts. However, nicotine salts are mixed with benzoic acid which not only makes the salts more absorbable to the body, but it also causes the salts to be vaporized at a lower temperature. While these two characteristics are said to make smoking more smooth on the throat, the increased smoothness may create a small tolerance per puff which can lead to either intaking larger puffs, or purchasing e-liquids with higher nicotine levels ultimately causing a higher intake of nicotine.
In conclusion, although these alternative forms of smoking may appear to be healthier than smoking traditional cigarettes, the truth is all forms of smoking are unhealthy and harmful to one’s body. Vape products such as the JUUL are putting the youth population at a higher risk of exposure to addictive and harmful chemicals such as nicotine. Any tobacco product, including the JUUL, can be cancerous or cause serious damage to your body. One should not let others influence them into such a careless habit. Take note of the warnings given about smoking; they are there for a reason.