I knew that smoking electronic cigarettes or “vaping” has become more prevalent, but I never expected my middle school daughter to ask about it. In fact, when she said, “Mommy, what’s JUUL?” I had no idea what she was talking about. Fearful that it was a new illegal drug, I searched the term online. Nope, JUUL e-cigarettes are legal and more and more kids are getting their hands on them. After learning more about JUUL, I had a serious conversation with both of my kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes. I hope you’ll pass this information along to other parents you know.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of ConsumerSafety.org. All opinions are 100% my own.
What is JUUL?
JUUL is made up of two basic parts: the e-cigarette holds the battery and regulates the temperature of the vapor. The “pod” contains e-liquid inserted into the end of the device. A pod is made up of:
- Benzoic acid
- Propylene glycol
Sounds more like a chemistry set and not anything I would want my kids putting into their bodies.
All Parents Should Know about JUUL
In case you are unaware, JUUL e-cigarettes are gaining popularity with kids, even in middle school and below. Their sleek, attractive design and enticing flavors make them even more attractive to young people. With flavors like cucumber, mango and mint, many kids are more intrigued about trying them.
The JUUL’s small size make them easy hide in a pencil bag or pocket. Chances are, if you have kids in middle and high school, they have heard about, tried, or know someone who has tried JUULing.
Key Information to know about kids and JUUL
While my kids both report that they have not seen e-cigarette use at school, they have heard about JUUL and knowing a few students who say they use them.
- A CDC report in 2017 found that 3 out of every 100 middle school students and 12 out of every 100 high school students reported using electronic cigarettes.
- According to this study in 2015, teen boys used e-cigarettes 6% more than girls.
- Kids have a 30% high risk of smoking traditional cigarettes after using e-cigarettes for 6 months.
- This study indicated that nicotine in e-cigarettes has an effect on the brain that makes harder drugs like cocaine seem more attractive to try.
Dangers of JUULing
With the help of the ConsumerSafety.org, I’ve put together this information to help education parent on the dangers using JUUL e-cigarettes. The #1 most staggering fact to me was this:
One JUUL pod contains 40 mg of nicotine. That’s around 20 cigarettes worth and “double the concentration found in other e-cigarettes,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What are the Side Effects of JUULing?
Short-term effects include dry mouth, dizziness, cough, dry skin and eyes, and itchiness.
Long-term effects are still up for debate, but many doctors are already reporting the following long-term side effects:
- Deterioration of lung tissue
- Effects on brain development – especially among youth under the age of 25.
- Lung disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Insulin resistance
Why do kids get addicted to JUULing?
Of course, we all know that nicotine is addicting, but there are biological reasons that kids are more susceptible to addiction. According to the U.S. Surgeon General:
“Until about age 25, the brain is still growing. Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Because addiction is a form of learning, adolescents can get addicted more easily than adults.”
The New England Journal of Medicine says,
“80% of 15-to-24-year-olds who try Juul continue using the product and why social media posts saying “addicted to my Juul” are common.”
This information is frightening to me. How about you? I strive to keep my family healthy so talking to my kids about JUUL and e-cigarettes is a priority for me.
Help spread the word
More and more people are filing lawsuits against JUUL claiming that the products are causing health problems, especially nicotine addiction. I certainly hope there will be more legal controls over the use of e-cigarettes.
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate e-cigarettes. Because of this, the packaging does not feature warning labels about health risks. As parents, we need to be informed and keep our kids informed.
Please share this information with other parents you know. Let’s keep our kids safe and healthy together!
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