An epidemic is sweeping the nation and everyone’s very quickly jumping on this bandwagon before they even really know what they’re in for. The JUUL, an alternative to smoking cigarettes, has had a spike in popularity among young adults. JUUL argues that they provide a simple and easy alternative to cigarettes (notice we didn’t say better, or healthy). Cigarettes combust when they burn, producing smoke. The JUUL heats a nicotine-based liquid so vapor is created. Next time you go to use a JUUL, remember these few things.
1. JUULs are the cigarettes for the next generation
People! Wake up! You’re still essentially smoking cigarettes. All you’ve changed is the form. You are still susceptible to getting addicted to nicotine and the rest of the gross side effects of whatever’s in that liquid you’re heating up.
2. You probably don’t know what’s in your JUUL pod
Oh we’ll tell you.
First: glycerol. This is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic, sweet-tasting chemical. However, when this is vaped and the vapor touches your face, it leaves a residue. This residue can result in increased acne and other skin problems. In addition, the residue can coat the insides of your nose and mouth, leaving you more prone to illnesses like sinus infections and post-nasal drip. But this isn’t close to the worst of them.
The pods also contain propylene glycol, which is found in hazardous waste sites. Benzoic acid can also be found in the pods, which the FDA will not label as “safe to consume.” Lastly, and the most obvious, nicotine! If you aren’t already addicted to the stuff, why would you subject yourself to the 59mg/mL that exists in each pod, aka one full pack of cigarettes?
3. Exactly what happens when you take a puff of a JUUL
First, the nicotine disrupts normal brain activity. Chemical changes happen in the brain that quickly create addiction. Because blood and oxygen cannot reach their target cells, a “head rush” is created. However, we want our blood and oxygen to find their way eventually and when it doesn’t, our body becomes stressed because everything is not where it should be. This increases the risks of cardiac diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. Is the head rush really worth it?
4. Increased cancer risk
According to the National Institute of Health, tobacco and nicotine are the main causes of preventable cancer as well as tumor growth. Even one or two uses of nicotine creates a slight addiction that only increases with use, making it similar to heroin or cocaine for that reason, and thus increasing your risk of giving yourself cancer.
5. Other health risks (besides those already covered)
Visual deterioration, increased risk of infertility and miscarriages, literal addiction to a substance that can kill you.
6. It is for smokers
It is not for a young adult following a trend. It is for people that have already become addicted to this killer substance. It was created to control nicotine addiction and to have less coating on the lungs from vapor as opposed to smoke. While they may be considered a “healthier” alternative, they are in no means considered “healthy.” Bottom line: if you care about your health, you won’t start using a JUUL if you have not previously smoked and been addicted to cigarettes.
7. We don’t know the long-term effects
But we will, thanks to all of you! We are the guinea pigs of the JUUL. If you do not want to run the risk of becoming a statistic, don’t pick up a JUUL. “A 10-second head rush isn’t worth a lifetime of health problems.”