Hey bro, can I hit your JUUL... with a hammer?

As strongly as I feel about the dangers of JUULing, I have something to emphasize: I hate the JUUL, not the JUULer.

I hate the companies that decided to introduce a new generation -- one that majoritively was already aware of the dangerous effects that cigarettes and nicotine can have on a person—to a portable, convenient, small, electronic device with flavored “pods” of “e-liquid.” 

I hate JUUL’s initial social media marketing included imagery that easily enticed younger viewers, and that 80.6% of users following JUUL’s official Twitter account (@JUULvapor) are under 21 years of age. 

I hate that, despite the clear lack of knowledge regarding the health effects of nicotine, the number of students who vaping rapidly rose by 78% among high schoolers and 48% among middle schoolers in just one year (2017-2018).

I hate that the nicotine content in e-cigarettes has doubled from 2013-2018, making them much more dangerous than they were originally advertised to be.

I hate the inaction by the Food and Drug Administration—which will allow e-cigarettes to remain on the market until 2022 without conducting their mandatory pre-market review.

However, JUUL does prohibit persons under the age of 21 from purchasing products from their website by using two-factor authentication on all JUUL.com accounts and restricting the number of bulk purchases. They also have deleted their Instagram and Facebook accounts and removed their most popular flavors (Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber) from traditional retail stores. But I see a JUUL almost every time I walk down the street on my way to class. My state allows JUUL products to be bought at just 18, making it easier for underage students to be in contact with someone that could provide them with an e-cigarette. Despite JUUL’s official statement that they are “committed to improving the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes” and “don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use JUUL products,” not enough is being done to reflect that.

So yes, I absolutely despise the idea that many of my classmates and even some of my friends are subjecting themselves to nicotine’s addictive and harmful properties. But it’s their decision, and I have to respect that. All I can do is hope that national policy changes to prevent the use of e-cigarettes, or at least ensure that they are as safe as possible to use.

The information in this article can be found at The Truth Initiative and JUUL.com. Read more about the effects of e-cigarettes at https://truthinitiative.org/