While cigarette smoking for teenagers is at an all-time low, a new and addictive trend is skyrocketing with the youth—Juul. But what is Juul? Is it harmful? And why are middle and high schoolers so attracted to this form of e-cigarette?
What is Juul?
Juuls are e-cigarettes that use nicotine salts from leaf tobacco. Unlike other bulky vape pens, they come in very small, colorful pods and almost resemble USB drives. Their sleek aesthetic is what makes them attractive, and their nicotine is what keeps consumers using them. Each Juul cartridge contains the same amount of nicotine as a packet of cigarettes.
Why Teens Are Hooked
With Juul came an unexpectant trend of underage vaping. Reportedly 1 in 5 high school students use Juul. 9.5% of teenagers between 15-17 are Juul users and are 16 times more likely to use Juul than adults aged 25-34. To make matters even more concerning, 1 in 5 students between 12-17 have seen a Juul used in school.
Unlike cigarettes, Juul is odorless and doesn’t cause throat irritation. However, the addictive nicotine is still extremely dangerous to young, developing brains. Because Juuls look fun and toy-like, teenagers aren’t aware that they’re harmful. A 2017 survey revealed that 63% of teenagers did not understand that Juul products contain nicotine.
How Dangerous is Juul?
E-cigarettes are meant to help smokers quit. The FDA agrees that vaping products are less harmful than cigarettes because they do not cause cancer. However, Juul’s high nicotine content can cause adverse effects on teenagers beyond addiction. Nicotine can cause impaired lung and brain development, which is dangerous for growing teens.
Talk to your teenager about smoking and vaping. If you believe your child is suffering adverse effects from Juul or other cigarette-type products, make an appointment with Pediatrix as soon as possible.