Photo: Shutterstock / Diego Cervo
In recent years, e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular – and their reputation for being "a better choice for you" than real cigarettes , Part of it is due The fact that hardcore smokers use them to reduce their habits is partly due to good marketing. After all, you can romp around with e-cigs everywhere without lighting nicotine or smoking afterwards. Cigarettes, and especially Juul – one of the newest e-cigarette products ̵
What is Juul?
Juul is an e-cigarette that came on the market in 2015, and the product itself resembles other e-cigarettes or vapes, says Jonathan Philip Winickoff, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a specialist in Family health and smoking cessation at the Massachusetts General Hospital. "It has the same ingredients: a liquid filled with nicotine, solvents and flavors."
But the device's USB form makes it so popular with teenagers and teenagers who make up the majority of Juul's consumers. Winickoff. The design makes it easy to hide it, and it is literally connected directly to your computer to heat up and charge. There were reports of children using them behind the backs of the teachers, and some schools even banned USBs altogether to get Juul out of the classroom. According to a recent Nielsen data report, Juul is already responsible for more than half of all e-cigarette retail sales in the US this year.
The other reason why Juul appeals to a younger crowd is the flavors of creme brulee, mango and cool cucumber. Not exactly the taste that a hardened tobacco smoker seeks, right? In fact, US Senator Chuck Schumer condemned Juul in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration of 2017 for "promoting flavors that appeal to young people." In September 2018, the FDA requested Juul and other leading e-cigarette companies to develop plans to restrict the use of teenagers. In the reply, Juul announced this week that they will only offer mint, tobacco and menthol flavors in stores. The other variants are only available online and customers must verify that they are over 18 years old by indicating the last four digits of their social security number. In addition, the company has closed its Facebook and Instagram accounts and will use Twitter only for "promotional communications."
Juul is not prohibitively cost-prohibitive; A "starter kit" with e-cigarette, USB charger and four flavor pods costs about $ 50, while individual pods are around $ 15.99. But they add up: The average Juul smoker spends $ 180 a month on Juul pods, according to a survey by financial education company LendEDU. This is less than the survey that respondents used to spend on traditional nicotine products such as cigarettes ($ 258 / month on average) – but the habit is still not cheap.
Is Juul bad for you?
It's hard to beat the cigarette in terms of health risks. Yes, Juul contains less toxic compounds than cigarettes, says dr. Winickoff. But it is still made with some bad ingredients for you. "It's not just harmless water vapor and taste," says Dr. Winickoff. "Not only is it made with N-nitrosonornicotin, a dangerous Group I carcinogen (and the most carcinogenic substance we know), but you also inhale acrylonitrile, a highly toxic agent used in plastics, adhesives and synthetic rubbers. " (Related: Coffee Warning What You Need to Know About Acrylamide)
The nicotine in Juul is also specially designed – with a proton group attached to it – to taste mild and be easily inhaled (probably another reason for his popularity with teenagers). And how much nicotine is in a Juul, will blow you away. "You can inhale a whole nicotine package without thinking about it," says Dr. Winickoff. (See also: New study says e-cigarettes could increase the risk of cancer.)
That makes Juul incredibly addictive, so it's not the kind of thing you want to experiment with. Winickoff says that with the amount of nicotine in each capsule you could easily become addicted within a week. "The younger you are, the faster you become addicted," he adds. "It changes your brain's hunger for nicotine by increasing the regulation of receptors in the reward center of the brain, and there is good evidence that nicotine addiction itself potentiates or enhances dependence on other substances." This means that it will be even harder to finish the program. (Related: Smoking affects your DNA – even decades after you've quit.)
Juul Side Effects
Juul has only been on the market for three years, so doctors and researchers currently do not really know what health Risks this product might have to lead. "The chemicals in electronic cigarettes have generally not been tested," Dr. Winickoff.
However, side effects of nicotine inhalation are well known. "It can cause coughing and wheezing, as well as asthma attacks," says Dr. Winickoff. "And it can cause a type of allergic pneumonia known as acute eosinophilic pneumonitis." Not to mention that puffing a e-cigarette was associated with an increased risk of heart disease, according to a study published in the journal by JAMA Cardiology (researchers found that they increase levels in the heart that can lead to heart rhythm problems, heart attacks and even death.
Recently, an 18-year-old who had been in the air for about three weeks made the news when she landed in the hospital for respiratory arrest Doctors have diagnosed her with a hypersensitivity pneumonitis or "wet lung" that causes her lungs to become inflamed due to an allergic reaction to dust or chemicals (in this case the ingredients of the e-cigarette). "The whole case sounds pretty good, That connections in the chemicals and electronic cigarettes are not safe, "says Dr. Winickoff. (Related: Shisha is a sure way to r auchen?)
Another important topic? You may think you are vaporizing juul, but since e-cigarettes are so little regulated, you may not know what you are inhaling. "There are a large number of knock-offs, and as kids are constantly using pods, you do not really know where your product comes from," Dr. Winickoff. "It's almost like playing Russian roulette with your brain."
If you're a longtime smoker trying to quit, Juul or e-cigarettes ] might be an option to wean you. But that does not mean that they are safe. "I would not recommend Juul to anyone who has not smoked," says Dr. Winickoff. "Stay breathing good, clean air."