Opinion: Vapes, Juuls, and the unexplored territory they bring with them

Vapes and Juuls (as well as traditional e-cigarettes) have escalated tobacco abuse in teenagers to new levels. Experts say that teenagers are attracted to juuls and vapes as a result of the bright colors and flavors its packages advertise, as well as the supposedly lower health risks. But juuls and vapes are experiencing a crackdown, as schools across the US move to ban it and the Department of Justice flexes its muscles to see the full scope of the industry.

Recently, the US government declared that the full extent of the damage that vapes and juuls can cause are unknown, and that if juul and vape companies are found to be advertising to minors, they would face similar consequences to when “Big Tobacco” was sued.

Experts in the private sector as well as education and health officials have warned that these e-cigarettes could cripple American teens in adulthood. And although the e-cigarette industry claims that their product is meant to help smokers quit, several law enforcement agencies are skeptical and even managed to get a former industry executive to admit to advertising to teens.

But just how dangerous is it?

The fact of the matter is, nobody really knows the full effects of e-cigarettes, since they’re relatively new. Experts are worried that if it took fifty years for people to realize how harmful cigarettes really are, can we really afford to wait? Some have suggested outright banning it until it can be fully tested.

One former healthcare industry official remarked, “the next generation, our kids, are going to be the guinea pigs for vape and juul”.

A study (still in progress) has found (so far, at least, but they warn that the study is still too small and too young for it to be verified) that in groups of teens that number around 10-15 teens, one teen juuling or vaping can lead to a spread of juuling and vaping within the group. In one instance (again, the study is not conclusive and is still in its infancy), two teens vaping (in a group of ten) led to five teens vaping and then seven teens vaping, until one teen moved on to juul and later marijuana, leading to a complete breakdown of the group.

The study mentioned in this article is inconclusive and has not been
completed yet. New information may be found as the study continues that  may or may not disprove the instance mentioned above or deem it a coincidence. 

In conclusion, juul and vape are relatively new and unknown devices. Their effects are not known and we are seeing a rise in teenager tobacco use as a result of e-cigarettes. The dangers? We don’t know. Advertising targets? We don’t know. But what we do know is that juuls and vapes are harmful, even if we don’t know how harmful they are. We know they’re addicting, and according to statistics, teens use e-cigarettes as gateways to stronger tobacco products, and in the study shown above, maybe even drugs.

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