W.T.H. is JUULing
Before we jump right in, we’re bumping up some rave reviews given by high school students in Northern California, USA to New York Times:
“In my opinion it looks like the coolest thing ever. Almost futuristic.”
“I like the feeling of it. The lightheadedness. It makes me feel sober and high at the same time. Plus it looks sleek — you smoke it, you look kind of bougie.”
“It looks like a USB drive. It doesn’t look suspicious.”
IT? What is this it?
Without much ado, let me introduce you to it - the JUUL.
Shaped like a small, compact USB device, the JUUL is a type of e-cigarette or vapourizer (vape). While JUUL is the product (actually a TM branded one), Juuling is act of using the product. Each JUUL contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes and delivers approximately 200 hits. Further, the JUUL can be charged by plugging it into a laptop’s USB slot.The JUUL also comes in 5 flavours -
- Fruit medley
- Creme brûlée
Touted as the iphone of e-cigarettes by Mens fitness, the JUUL device is made up of oils, flavours, and nicotine salts. The device heats up the cartridge containing the oil to create the vapour which is inhaled by the user. The JUUL uses nicotine salts that are found in the tobacco leaf, rather than free-base nicotine, that standard cigarettes burn.
WHO & WHEN?
The JUUL was co-founded in 2015 by Adam Bowen and James Monsees. Being former smokers for many years themselves, James and Adam were dissatisfied with the health and social impacts of cigarettes. It was then that they applied their knowledge in technology innovation and industrial design (which they had garnered through their college education at Stanford University) to finding an alternative to smoking.
As per an article by vapebeat.com, “Vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. This isn’t conjecture but a fact backed by Public Health England and the UK’s NHS. Vaping is about getting off cigarettes, which is one of the best things any smoker can do. Nicotine on its own, while addictive, is not harmless. Nicotine is a stimulant, the same as coffee and sugar. It does not give you cancer; that only happens with carcinogens found in combustible cigarettes”.
With this in mind, the JUUL was introduced to improve the lives of 1 billion adult smokers. “We envision a world where fewer people use cigarettes, and where people who smoke cigarettes have the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely, should they so desire” - reads juul.com
Vaping can have a positive impact when used by smokers, and can have a negative impact when used by nonsmokers, a fact emphatically acknowledged on Juul’s website itself.
However, the growing attraction of the JUUL amongst teenagers and youngsters is a growing matter of concern. Further, given its sleek design, youngsters are able to conceal the JUUL and even use it during classes.
This screams caution as Tobacco treatment specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Carol Southard explains the risks of the use of e-cigarettes from a very young age. She says, “Nicotine is extremely addictive and it can act as a neurotoxin and alter brain chemistry so the brain doesn't function normally without it. This can be especially harmful for teenagers whose brains are still developing. More importantly, nicotine is a gateway drug. Teenagers who begin with e-cigarettes are more likely to transition to combustible cigarettes, putting them at higher risk for health issues.”
While the new 'cool' trend is limited to USA for now, we know it's a matter of time before it trickles down to our country and sprouts a new generation of JUULers.