Why College Students Should Rethink JUULing

When one clicks onto JUUL’s website, the page immediately prompts the user to verify that they are 21 or older. The owners of JUUL are very specific on the website regarding how youth are not meant to be using the product whatsoever. In fact, the product page states that a JUUL is meant for one thing only: to switch current smokers to a better alternative. A banner on the top of the website reads: “Warning: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical”, and a very small segment on the bottom of the page says: “This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

JUUL takes lots of precautions to ensure that they could not possibly be blamed for youth JUULing, addiction, or any negative health effects caused by it. Despite a near assurance of addiction once one starts using it, JUULing is almost an integral aspect of college party culture. It may seem cool at the moment, but using JUULs can seriously harm a user’s health in the long run. JUULing can increase insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II Diabetes. The vapor from JUULs contains carcinogens, which poses a risk to users and nonusers that inhale it as secondhand smoke. Nicotine is an addictive substance that can harm brain development, which is a big problem as our brains aren’t fully developed until 25. Withdrawing from nicotine is a painful process that can last from 2-4 weeks, or longer, depending on addiction level. Symptoms of withdrawal include “intense cravings for nicotine, tingling in the hands and feet, sweating, nausea and abdominal cramping, constipation and gas, headaches, coughing, sore throat, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, irritability, depression, and weight gain.” If unconcerned about health, there are many other reasons to rethink JUULing. One JUUL costs $35, and each pack of pods is $16. If a user bought one pack of pods a week, for every week of the year, it would add up to around $832. E-cigarettes such as JUULs also negatively impact the environment, as there is currently no way to recycle it or its pods. There is not much research currently regarding the environmental impact of JUULs, but the current studies generally agree that the toxic heavy metals in the cartridges, chips, and circuits would leak dangerous chemicals into the ground after being thrown away.

Although JUULs may be a better alternative to cigarettes because they are less related to lung cancer, gum disease, and cheaper in the long run (depending on the user’s habits), being addicted to nicotine still isn’t the best way to spend one’s college years.


Sources: https://news.psu.edu/story/527326/2018/07/03/impact/medical-minute-hazards-juuling-or-vaping