From video games to 4Lokos to social media, the American youth has a new addiction: Juuling. Look around any teenage party and I bet you’ll find yourself a couple of patrons with a cup full of their mother’s vodka in one hand and a black USB-shaped device in the other. This wonderful device is the center of America’s new health epidemic.
Released by Pax labs in 2015, the Juul’s original purpose was to provide a safer alternative for cigarette smokers in the form of an E-cigarette. The American lung organization calls the Juul “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. The main component of smoking cigarettes that makes it terrible for your health is the tar, carcinogens, and chemicals that compose the cigarette. These chemicals fill the smoker’s lungs and over time can cause cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and even cancer.
Instead of regular smoke, the Juul emits a nicotine-laced water vapor when a person inhales from it. This feature of the supposed to be what makes the Juul safer than smoking regular cigarettes. The user still gets the same head rush that they would from a cigarette but without putting as much tar and chemicals into their lungs. You may still be wondering what the catch is about the Juul, well it’s the concentration of nicotine in the Juul pods that make it bad.
Since smokers felt that the Juul was safer than cigarettes, they smoke it constantly and too often. This is the same as eating too much pasta. Even though pasta is better for you than a big fat burger, if you eat too much of it, it will still make it unhealthy for you. A single Juul pod contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
Some smokers say they smoked up to 3-4 pods a day. A Juul smoker that prefers to remain Anonymous says “I smoke about a pod a day, like, it does get old after a while buying pack after pack every week. I could go buy Chick-fil-a or something, but instead I’m in a Wawa buying juul pods.” This anonymous smoker, lets call him John Doe, is a 19-year-old college student and says he picked up his Juuling habit in High school when his friends began juuling and he decided to buy his own.
Photo By: Amanda Capriito/ Juul pods, Mango flavored (Orange), Tobacco (Brown), Mint (Green), Watermelon (Red)
At a local Wawa two pack of Juul pods cost about $11.99. A four pack of the liquid death cartridges will run you about $18.99. For a person that smokes a pod a day that means about $25 a week on Juul pods. Could it be that this unhealthy habit is actually an expensive and deadly addiction? It appears that there is a bigger problem than it seems.
Fruit punch, Mango, Blueberry, Cucumber, and vanilla are all the flavors of Juul pods that entice young people to buy Juul pods. American youth like John doe became hooked by these fruity fun flavors of death. I mean what kid wouldn’t want to blow sweet mango flavored vapor that’s supposedly better for you than cigarettes. Perhaps this was Juul’s strategy all along, market nicotine as fruity to make it seem harmless and appeal to the youth, then steal the money right out of their parents’ pockets. No, Kelly, your son did not buy $20 worth of hoagies and Gatorades at Wawa, he pod Crème Brule flavored Juul pods (His favorite).
It wasn’t long before the FDA caught on to Juul’s buffoonery. On September 15th , the FDA proposed a ban on all flavored E-cigarette cartridges. This meant disaster for Juul. The ban would cost Juul billions of dollars. Recently Juul’s CEO, Kevin Burns, stepped down after the ban and a recent streak of vaping related deaths and illnesses where 580 people got 9 died from a vaping related illness.
After a successful run atop the ranks of America’s big tobacco companies, it appears that the Juul company is crumbling and going up in smoke, or vapor if you will.