FDA examines Juul and youth popularity

Only recently Juul has been investigated and regulated by the Federal Department Agency (FDA) as tobacco products with nicotine derived from tobacco leaves. The nicotine inhaled remains a serious health issue for teenagers whose brains are still developing. Nicotine also acts as an appetite suppressant by stimulating the brain that one is burning slightly more energy and speeding up their metabolism, a huge deterrent for smokers trying to quit.

Cigarettes remaining the leading cause of preventable death in the US today. Common questions on the topic of Juul include: Do teenagers know how much nicotine they think they are consuming? Do they regulate their use at all? Can they quit?

“Juuling is apparently enough of a problem for the government to make Juul harder to acquire, but kids getting gunned own in their own schools isn’t enough to make guns harder to acquire. Our country needs to open their eyes”, a student tweeted on Nov. 12, showing a common antipathy amongst teenagers towards the FDA’s attempts to regulate Juul.

Juul is an e-cigarette nicotine device disguised like a dark silver USB port that can be easily recharged. Nicotine is inhaled through liquid in Juul pods. Each Juul pod is equivalent to consuming about one to two packs of cigarettes, or 200 puffs of Juul, according to BuzzFeed News.

When the e-cigarette was first accessible in 2015, teenagers were either buying Juuls online or finding others who bought Juuls for them. Nicotine in Juul is highly addictive, the FDA claims. A student from the NYT Article said, “After about a week, you feel like you need to puff on the Juul. If you were to go to any party, any social event, no doubt there would be a Juul”. At one high school, teachers reported that students are Juuling in bathrooms, in class, and on the bus. Additionally, 95 percent of disciplinary infractions we dealt with were all connected to Juul.

“At least 45 percent of middle school students had used e-cigarettes, 30 percent whom are current users,” according to NYT Article, “I Can’t Stop,” on Apr. 2, 2018, not to mention high school students. The Juul market has shown 40 percent growth in the last few months.

Juul claims to market their products to adults to wish to stop smoking with a simpler convenience, that does not produce as much smoke. However, this is not the case, and their marketing plans have failed.

“This is not about getting adults to stop smoking, this is about getting kids to start vaping, make money, and have [kids] as customers for life”, Attorney General Maura Healey said on the New York Times (NYT) article, Did Juul Lure Teenagers and Get ‘Customers for Life’, Aug. 27. The company, who calls themselves “entrepreneurs,” denies they ever sought to attract teenagers. Juul Labs co-founder James Monsees said “selling Juuls to youth was antithetical to the company’s mission”.

According to TechCrunch, in Nov. 2018, Juul’s response to the FDA stated, “We support the FDA’s effort to curb underage use of tobacco products, and we believe restricting access to flavors will negatively impact current adult smokers in their journey to switch from combustible cigarettes, who do not want to reminded of the tobacco-taste.” Nonetheless, Juul announced that it planned to limit sales or flavored refill pods exclusively to its website, rather than retail stores, due to the FDA’s demand.

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