Putting down the Juul

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Photo by Tbel Abuseridze on Unsplash

Juul-ing has become quite the phenom these days among teenagers and young adults, but it seems as if people aren’t fully aware of the negative effects that ensue. 

Many of America’s youth have been exposed to these flash drive-looking and addictive e-cigarettes. Obviously, everyone is aware that nicotine is bad for you, but whenever that nicotine tastes like mango or mint, then it’s a whole different ball game. The connotation behind ‘cigarette’ is extremely negative, but whenever ‘Juul’  is mentioned some seem to associate it with a good time. Even though people recognize that cigarettes are bad, Juuls are a gateway to get into cigarettes, which would leave to an even more harmful life. 

How is Juuls reaching the youth so easily? Thanks to their genius marketing, they’ve appealed to teens and young adults to sell their addictive and disgusting products. 

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids states that “A study in JAMA Pediatrics found that 8 out of 10 of JUUL’s Twitter followers in April 2018 were between the ages of 13 to 20.31 Additionally, user-generated posts that tag (e.g., #JUULvapor, #doit4JUUL) and feature JUUL do not have any restrictions. These kinds of social media posts can increase exposure to pro-e-cigarette imagery and message, by making JUUL use to look cool and rebellious.” 

Just like how the major cigarette companies appealed to the youth when they first started out, Juul and other e-cigarette brands want the youth to think it’s cool to Juul, or that by smoking an e-cigarette you’ll somehow look cooler and feel like a rebel. It’s not a new strategy to sell harmful products. 

It’s also quite accessible for the youth to get them. Because it’s a tobacco product, people who are above the age of 18 are able to get their hands on one – depending on the county’s laws regarding the sale of tobacco. This makes the availability of them in high schools and colleges much easier, as well as having a greater influence on those younger, prompting them to hop on the nicotine addiction train.

The facts behind the Juul and how unhealthy they can be are fairly damning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain. The brain keeps developing until about age 25. Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.” They also state that “using nicotine in adolescence may also increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs.” 

Not only are the chances of you beginning to smoke cigarettes are higher, but Juuls can lead you to other drugs, damaging your body even more.

Juuling can also lead to serious health effects. The American Cancer Society states that “some cases have been severe enough to require hospitalization, and several people have died from their illness. However, it’s not yet clear exactly how widespread these cases are, or if they all have the same cause.” Because e-cigarettes and Juuls haven’t been around for very long, their long term effects are still being investigated. However, it’s obvious that by ingesting nicotine into your body– no matter what form – could potentially speed up any illness that you might have, including lung cancer. 

Though it’s inevitable to ignore the social media rampage that e-cigarettes and Juuls are on, there are some ways to help prevent and warn people of the dangers of these products.

First, try to set an example of not smoking: if there are people that you can influence in your life, don’t smoke as so to set the example of looking sane without needing nicotine.

Second, talk to a friend or close confidant about the harmful and negative effects that these products can do; it’s never too late to warn and help save someone.

Finally, try to only use negative connotations when discussing any kind of smoking so they can develop the mindset of nicotine being unhealthy.

Though I personally believe every person has the inalienable right to choose what they do with their body, it’s important to at least understand the facts behind nicotine addiction and what they can later cause in life. It’s important to ask yourself if all of the smoking and the addiction is really worth it in life. If not, then re-evaluate your life and try to adjust according to how you want to live.

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