The JUUL Epidemic : The 2nd Wave of Nicotine Addiction

John Gardner and Dukey Kriksceonaitis, Contributor

The JUUL is a brand new electronic cigarette made by the vaporizer company, Pax. Claimed to be designed to get smokers off cigarettes and onto a safer alternative, the company’s main motivation is being questioned. Instead of helping smokers quit, the JUUL has attracted a younger crowd, not previously involved with cigarettes. This has created a second wave of nicotine addiction, getting kids of mostly high school age hooked on nicotine.

It is fact that the amount of cigarette smokers in our nations has decreased significantly since their heyday in the 1950s, but it may be inappropriate to claim that nicotine addiction has fallen as well. A senior at Ipswich High School who wishes to stay anonymous stated, “Nobody really smokes cigarettes anymore, but a lot of people own JUULs.” Although their negative health effects are still unknown, even if they cause no harm, they still contain a high percent of nicotine. Each “JUUL Pod” contains five percent nicotine by weight, which is the equivalent to one pack of cigarettes. That is incredibly high, especially when you put into perspective that one pod is only seven tenths of a milliliter, and can be finished in only 200 puffs. All of this means that using a JUUL can spark a nicotine addiction very quickly.

If developing a serious nicotine addiction wasn’t enough of a deterrent, the fact that the JUUL is a very new product means that its long term side effects remain unknown. The school nurse at Ipswich High School, Marnie Stasiuk, was not familiar with the JUUL, but was well read on vaping. When asked about the possible long term side effects of using a device, such as the JUUL, she stated, “introducing any foreign substance into your lungs is never a good idea, and doing so can increase your chance of lung disease, cancers, and even death.” Still, many high schoolers think they are safe because it’s just vapor, but even the company behind the JUUL states on their website, “no tobacco or e-liquid product should ever be considered “safe.” Overall, negative side effects from using the JUUL are inevitable, and inhaling foreign substances is never a smart choice.

The main question that everyone is asking is, why use a JUUL? When we asked the same student that question he responded, “it’s mainly because of the headrush you get.” This “headrush”, more commonly known as a buzz, is nicotine’s effect on the body. Although some people may enjoy this feeling, the effect is short lasting and seems to not worth it. After using the JUUL for a few days, your body will develop a tolerance to nicotine. As your tolerance builds, your body demands more nicotine in order to achieve satisfaction. Then, after extended use, you will not even feel a buzz. Rather, you will obtain a dependence, and your body will require nicotine in order to function properly. Knowing these facts, it is incredibly surprising that kids continue to use the JUUL, completely free of worry.

The JUUL has swept over the country, creating a whole new group of nicotine addicts. Although the JUUL’s negative side effects may be unknown, it is fact that inhaling foreign substances into your lungs makes you more susceptible to disease. The use of the JUUL for non-cigarette smokers is simply pointless, and there is no buzz worth your life.