Juuling Has Been All Over the News This Week- Here's Why

It is no secret that electronic cigarettes have taken over schools and colleges around the nation. Juuling has ingrained itself into youth culture, but how much do we really know about the danger of vaping?

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, juuling has become synonymous with vaping, deriving from the e-cigarette company Juul. Juul, according to TIME magazine, controls about 50% of the e-cigarette market and is largely blamed for the rise of vaping. With colorful advertisements and a wide array of flavors ranging from mango to mint pods, it is no mystery why teen usage has increased. 

While vaping has become a staple among teens over the past few years, e-cigarettes have just emerged as a hot news topic in recent weeks as a result of investigations into recent deaths and lung injuries related to juuling. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have announced 530 confirmed and probable cases of lung injuries related to e-cigarettes as of Sept. 17, however the numbers continue to change as more cases are reported. Fox8 News reported on Sept. 19 that the death toll has risen to eight.

From 2017 to 2018 there was an increase of 1.5 million youth e-cigarette users, according to the CDC

"I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children,” said First Lady Melania Trump in a tweet on Sept. 9. “We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth." 

President Trump has proposed a new policy that would require flavored e-cigarette companies to take their products off the market in hopes of curbing teen vaping additions. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary, has commented that it will take a few weeks to finalize and announce to parameters of the new policy.

E-cigarette companies are also taking an active role in trying to reduce teen vaping. When visiting the Juul website, users are prompted to select if they are 21 and up. If visitors of the page click that they are under 21 they are redirected to a new webpage, “smokefreeteen,” a government website designed to help teens quit vaping. The website provides informational links about the dangers of vaping and how to cope with the quitting process. 

Students around American University's campus agree that the issue has gotten out of hand.

“I think people didn’t realize how bad juuling was for you,” said Jessa Munis, a sophomore studying history at American.

Munis mentioned that her younger sister in middle school has seen people in her classes vape and ‘take a hit’ of their juuls while school was in session.

“That’s terrifying, she’s 13!” said Munis. 

While some students support heavy regulations, not all agree that banning flavored e-cigarettes is the right course of action.

“I don’t think they should be making juuling illegal,” said Lily Sweeting, a sophomore Journalism major at American. “I think they should be making advertising to kids illegal. When you make things illegal it just makes it more dangerous because people start making counterfeit knock off ones that have no regulation.”

In regards to what is causing the recent vaping related illnesses, health professionals are focusing on vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E in oil inhalants have been linked to past vaping related illnesses dating back to 2000. 

The Food and Drug Administration has opened an investigation and is now running tests to find what is the source of the respiratory issues caused after e-cigarette use. As of now, nothing has been found to create a certain link between contents in vaping oils and the illnesses.

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