The Truth about Juuls

Ava Neels

It’s sleek, it’s discreet, it’s the newest gadget, and it’s in backpacks everywhere. A new type of e-cigarette, Juuls are plaguing teens’ lungs around the nation.


Not only is their design discreet, but so is how they work. Juuls heat up a cartridge containing oil to create vapor, which then quickly dissolves into the air. Liquid pods that contain mix of glycerol and propylene glycol, nicotine, benzoic acid, and flavorings are put into the Juul. Each pod is equal to 200 puffs or one pack of cigarettes. The nicotine in the pods gives the user a “buzz” that typically lasts around 20 minutes.


The pods come in flavors that many see as targeting young smokers, although according to Juul’s website, their mission is to “improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers.” While Juuls are aimed towards adults trying to quit smoking, many teens are actually the ones juuling.


According to the National Tobacco Survey, 20.8% of high schoolers were e-cigarette users in 2018. In 2017, Juul’s unit sales increased by more than 600%, whereas in mid-2016 their sales were less than 5%. Whether the fruity flavors, the minimalist design, or the “coolness” attract teens, the result is the same: they’re addicted.


One anonymous 12th grader spoke about her relationship with juuling. She stated that she has been juuling for a little over two years and goes through five pods a week. When asked why she juuls, she said, “I was young and didn’t think about how the Juul could affect my future, so I got one for fun. But then I got addicted. I tried to quit but then I would just borrow other peoples or go get more pods from the gas station. I had withdrawals too for the first couple of days.” She stated that peer-pressure is a large part of what keeps her juuling. She also added that while many of her friends quit, at least 10 of them still juul. “The fact that my friends juul too is a problem,” she says. “Even if I try to give it up, they still have their Juuls and it’s very tempting.” She is aware of Juuls’ hazards for her health and wants those who are considering picking up juuling to know, “Juuling may seem cool but it is awful for your health and very expensive.” She says that she plans on quitting this week, but then she mentions she just bought a new pack of pods this morning.


Another 10th grader explained why she doesn’t Juul, though her friends do and she has tried it before. “I see the Juuls’ harmful effects it has on people and how easy it is to get addicted, so I don’t. I’ve tried hitting a Juul once or twice, but it burned my throat.” She noted that she doesn’t think differently of those who do, because almost all of her friends have one. When asked why she thinks high schoolers juul, she said, “I think people do it because of they want to look cool in front of their friends. It starts as a way to look cool, but they usually get addicted and can’t quit.” Things that are cool come and go among teenagers, but she doesn’t see juuling ending anytime soon. “I think it will stay popular because of how easily accessible it is and how easily people get addicted.” She plans on encouraging her friends to quit, by showing them how damaging it is to their health.


Juuling is on the rise, and there hadn’t seemed to be any sign to its demise until recently. The FDA has recently levied fines against more than 1,300 retailers and 5 manufacturers that marketed e-cigarettes to minors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also in the process of removing the fruity flavored pods from being sold in stores, and only available online with proper age verification. The FDA recently released an announcement stating their new comprehensive plan to combat the juuling epidemic;“protecting our nation’s youth from the dangers of tobacco products is among the most important responsibilities of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”  Juuling may be just a fad among high schoolers, but it is a hazardous one that shouldn’t continue. Don’t be a fool; throw away your juul.




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