Juul Usage Continues to Increase Among Teenagers

“Juuling” is one of the hottest trends among teenagers today. According to the Food & Drug Administration, e-cigarette use grew 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students between 2017 and 2018. Today, Juul is recognized as the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes, with about 68% of the market share; and it’s currently marketing its device as a safer alternative to cigarettes.

Interestingly, one of the largest cigarette companies in world, Altria, purchased 35% of Juul in December of 2018. This will potentially give Juul an even greater marketing presence, increased distribution power, and additional lobbying influence. This is worrisome as health professionals and parents see dangerous evidence of growing teenage addiction and health issues stemming from the vaping craze.

Harmful Chemicals in E-Cigarettes

E-cigarette devices, also called vape pens or e-cigs, contain a liquid made from nicotine, flavoring, and other potentially harmful ingredients. This liquid solution is heated to a temperature that produces an aerosol that is inhaled.

Some of the toxic ingredients in e-cigarettes (as well as those produced by vaping) include:

  • Propylene glycol (can cause respiratory inflammation and infection)
  • Acetaldehyde, acrolein and formaldehyde (aldehydes that can cause lung and heart disease)
  • Diacetyl (known to cause a condition called “popcorn lung” which damages the tiny airways in the lungs)
  • Acrolein (an herbicide used in weed killers that can cause COPD, acute lung injury, and possibly asthma and lung cancer)

The growing popularity of JUUL, and the negative health effects it has on users, is being seen nationwide. For example, Wisconsin health officials have confirmed that 11 teenagers and young adults were recently hospitalized for severe respiratory illnesses due to vaping. Some of the patients had to be put on ventilators. Health officials blame the respiratory problems on the chemicals that are combined with the nicotine.

Teens Are Becoming Addicted to Nicotine Through Juul Devices

Physicians are also seeing large numbers of teens with nicotine addiction issues from using e-cigarettes. However, many teens do not realize that vape pens contain any nicotine, or they believe that the pens are mostly flavoring with small amounts of nicotine. It is already known that nicotine can alter teen brain cell activity related to attention, learning, and memory. Additionally, the developing teenage brain is more susceptible to addiction. Juul e-cigarettes are known to have higher levels of nicotine than some other brands. Some of the popular Juul pods contain about 5% nicotine, which is higher than many e-cigarettes and higher than an entire pack of many cigarettes. Additionally, Juul uses a nicotine salt formula believed to release a higher amount of nicotine directly into the blood.

Juul Directly Markets Products to Teenagers

Juul is currently being criticized for intentionally marketing to a teenage audience. The Juul pod flavors are often candy, dessert or fruit flavors that appeal to young people. The initial Juul ad campaign, found all over social media and mobile advertising, featured young, hip models vaping. The company recruited online influencers to target a younger audience. In fact, almost half of the followers on the Juul twitter account were between 13 and 17. Juul also sponsored school and summer camp programs aimed at children. The product also appeals to teens because the device is discreet. Teens can vape in public, in restrooms and even in classrooms without getting caught.

After severe backlash from health experts, the FDA, and a recent congressional report, Juul has eliminated much of its social media campaign. The company has also taken some of the more “youthful” flavors off of the market. Juul has publicly supported raising the purchase age to 21. Additionally, the CEO of Juul has publicly apologized to parents.

The company is also facing a number of lawsuits claiming it marketed its e-cigarettes to teenagers, hid safety information about the amount of nicotine in Juul pods, and concealed information about the addictiveness of the product.

“Juuling” is rapidly becoming a public health issue as more and more teenagers and young adults are using e-cigarettes. Kids are becoming addicted to nicotine and experiencing health problems from the chemical composition of the liquid and aerosol in vape pens.

Attorney Brett Oppenheimer has taken on the tobacco industry in prior cases and is disturbed by the similarity of the e-cigarette industry. Brett believes that Juul needs to face the consequences of its reckless marketing practices and misinformation campaign. Juul manufactures dangerous products that are compromising the health of our young people.

Please call Brett if you have a family member who has experienced health problems from using Juul devices or other e-cigarettes. Consultations are free and confidential. Call now at (502) 242-8877 or contact us online via our online message form.

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