Your JUUL: Friend or Foe?

Smoking tobacco-like products has never been easier! With the rise of the JUUL, smoking has taken a modern twist, and the flash-drive like device is appealing to teenagers and young adults based on its sleek, small, and modern design. Although the vape-like pen is marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, is JUULing actually safe?

What exactly is in these model USB devices?

According to the article published by shape.com, each JUUL pod contains “liquid filled with nicotine, solvents, and flavorings,” coming in multiple flavors such as mint, watermelon and “Virginia Tobacco.” Typically, the nicotine content in each pod reaches “59 milligrams per milliliter” according to vox.com, and allows its users to get nicotine-buzzed quick, especially if they haven’t used tobacco or nicotine products before. The JUUL’s battery life is also designed to stay charged for as long it supposedly takes to smoke through each pod The JUUL website explains: “Depending on your use, a full charge will last about as much as one JUUL pod. One JUUL pod is about 200 puffs, however, individual smoking and vaping patterns may vary.” Built creatively, the JUUL appears to be a much more personalized smoking tool and sales have continued to increase because of its balance between modernity and traditional, “old-school” smoking appeal.

Photo courtesy of www.juul.com 

JUULing, while still probably unhealthy, seems to be a simple and easy-to-use option for people seeking a nicotine-fix. Nicotine, however, is known to be highly addictive and hard to quit. 

How can we compare this to cigarettes?

The content of a cigarette, unlike the JUUL, has more than 600 chemicals packed inside, some of which are: “Ammonia, Arsenic (used in rat poison), Lead, and Tar” stated by Lung.org, in addition to the nicotine smokers crave. The nicotine content, per cigarette, can range from “0-24 milligrams” illustrated via graph on vapingdaily.com, although the body will only absorb around “1 milligram” of said nicotine. Cigarettes do not have to be charged, can be lit anytime or anywhere, and are designed to burn slowly. Cigarettes, and the secondhand smoke they release, are known contributors to lung cancer and heart problems, which explains why most of us were told to avoid them at such young ages.

Photo courtesy of stocksnap.io

So, what’s the verdict?

When comparing the chemicals inside both the JUUL pod and cigarette, the JUUL pod appears to have less ingredients and avoids the use of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes and cigars. The JUUL, however, does contain a high level of nicotine, and its wide range of flavors allow a large audience to enjoy their own personal tastes, as well as the nicotine-buzz. If we are examining the better option between JUULing and smoking traditional tobacco type products, the research suggests the JUUL is a friend to those (perhaps) trying to kick their cigarette habit, but the nicotine makes it a foe to those not accustomed to nicotine or smoking already.

As always, use these products responsibly, and make sure to put your health first!