They aren’t cigarettes so they shouldn’t be right? It’s the safer version of a cigarette because it doesn’t include nicotine and other chemicals right? These are common thoughts and questions most individuals have in regards to the new fad- Juuls, especially teenagers these days. But the truth of the matter is Juuls are just as bad for you and your physical health. There are a lot of factors that play a role in why but primarily its due to the lack of education and the miscommunication of what Juuls are made up of and what they can cause for an individual who uses one.
What is a Juul?
A Juul is considered an e-cigarette that is very similar to other e-cigarettes and vapes. Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that convert liquid into a vapor, which you inhale. The purpose of the Juul is that you can obtain nicotine like a regular cigarette, but without the tobacco, burning, or carcinogen-laden smoke so it is supposed to be safer right? The design of the Juul itself is also very appealing because of the flavors it includes. You can customize your juul to have fruity flavors or cool mint. There are so many options which really attract a lot of the younger population.
Is it Safer?
Is it safer or not…that is the question. It has been advertised to be an electronic cigarette that includes no tobacco, burning, or carcinogen-laden smoke however research has shown that Juuls are just as dangerous if not more than regular cigarettes. According to Healthline, a 2019 research study showed that more than 2,000 cases and 39 deaths have been linked to e-cigarette use. As this study included all e-cigarette use, Juuls alone contains twice as much nicotine than any other electronic cigarette devices on the market presently. This is troubling since it is advertised to not include nicotine at all. In fact the amount of nicotine present in a Juul includes 5% of nicotine; one JUUL pod contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.
Nicotine is not the only thing that a Juul is made up of. You also have Benzoic acid which is a preservative often used as a food additive, a blend of propylene glycol and glycerine which create a clear vapor when the solution heats up, and lastly flavorings can be made from natural and synthetic substances.
What are the Side Effects of Juul’ing?
Juuls and other e-cigarettes tend to cause people’s arteries to harden and increase their blood pressure causing many individuals who use these devices more likely to have a heart attack or develop coronary artery disease than people who don’t use tobacco products. According to the American Cancer Society, Both the nicotine, as well as the chemical flavors and additives in the liquid, seem to be harmful for the heart.
Juuls can create symptoms including Coughing, trouble breathing, or chest pain. However a bigger concern with the use of Juuls is the possibility for popcorn lung to be developed. The chemicals used for flavoring in a juul can cause a dry cough that won’t go away. It also causes shortness of breath, wheezing, headache, fever, aches, and other health problems. The vapors also can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, and throat. These chemicals are associated with the condition widely known as popcorn lung which is when diacetyl scars the tiny air sacs in your lungs. That makes your airways thick and narrow.
Effects on Brain Development
The American Cancer Society also identified brain development concerns linked to Juul use, and the use of nicotine in general. The younger population is more at risk for these complications due to the area that the nicotine affects. This is because nicotine can alter the development of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making, personality expression and logic. Due to the fact that the prefrontal cortex doesn’t usually fully develop until the age of 25, using nicotine in any way, before then can increase the risk of mood disorders, addiction, and impulse control.
Other Side Effects
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, Fatigue, fever, or weight loss, addiction to nicotine. Despite being advertised as a tool to help quit smoking or avoid using nicotine in general, research has shown that individuals who engage in the use of Juuls have a higher percentage of being addicted to nicotine products in the future.
When new fads enter the society the excitement and interest are obviously sparked where everyone wants to check it out or see how it is. It’s really important to do your research and look into the facts before you engage in the use of these electronic devices. Smoking any form of nicotine is not safe or healthy remember that. There are always risks present so do your research and remember to consult with your doctors if you have any questions.
Resources- cdc.gov, healthline.org, and american cancer society.