BY MELANIE RAIBLE
Since its launch in 2015, Juul has become one of the best-selling e-cigarettes on the market. It’s often been referred to as “the iPhone of e-cigs” and has gained a huge following among young adults and on social media.
But Juul has also created a huge enemy in the Food and Drug Administration, which called youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic” and is now considering a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. They gave Juul Labs and four other e-cigarette labs 60 days to prove that they can keep their products away from minors.
Electronic cigarettes give users the fix of nicotine without the smell and smoke of traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco, but instead generate a type of vapor by heating a liquid in “pods” containing nicotine.
Although many users and manufacturers say that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, some experts say that “Juuling” is actually doing more harm than good.
Each pod contains 5 percent nicotine, which is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. Every pack of pods contains four pods for a minimum of $15.99 and is available in eight different flavors.
In an attempt to put an end to the underage use of Juul, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced last Wednesday that massive enforcement action was to be taken over retailers who were allegedly selling e-cigarettes to minors. There is now a warning to all manufactures of a potential ban on all flavored e-cigarette liquids.
In a speech to FDA employees, Gottlieb said that the underage use of e-cigarettes has become a full-blown crisis that must be carefully addressed.
“The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end,” Gottlieb said.
Juul Labs, the creator of Juul, has claimed that their products are intended for adult usage only. However, in a recent study conducted by Truth Initiative, it was revealed that from a sample of one thousand 12- to 17-year-olds, 74 percent of them purchased their Juul at a store or a retail outlet.
In their attempt to enforce action, the FDA recently sent 40 letters to retailers, warning them that they could face penalties for selling e-cigarettes to people younger than 18.
Chloe Cline, a sophomore at Salisbury University, switched from using vapes to using a Juul freshman year of college.
“I would say I’m definitely addicted,” Cline admitted. “I really didn’t crave nicotine like this before I started Juuling.”
When asked her opinion about the recent action the FDA has taken to regulate Juuls, Cline replied, “They should definitely not be sold to minors. They’re so many younger kids who are starting to Juul and they are beginning to have a nicotine dependency at such a young age.”
In a study from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, it was found that 63 percent of teens using these products don’t actually know they contain nicotine. This terrifying statistic means that not only are young teens allegedly buying these products, but they don’t even know the effects these products will have on them.
The device, which looks like a USB flash drive, is sleek and small. The pods needed to use the vape come in various appealing flavors, such as Cool Cucumber and Mango, and “skins” are available to personalize your Juul.
If more restrictions aren’t imposed, Juul Labs will be facing many more lawsuits, and teens will continue to suffer serious health issues because of it.
It’s ironic that a product whose sole purpose was to help prevent nicotine addicts has in turn created a whole new generation becoming addicted to it.