In the last few decades, studies have been surfacing showing the detrimental effects of smoking cigarettes. But, just when you thought the craze around cigarettes was dying down, new trends have been introduced into the scene: Vapes & Juuls. What is a vape/Juul? Simply put, these are electronic cigarettes or e-cigs. These e-cigs contain flavored liquid that is heated up by a battery, producing vapor when a person inhales through the tube of the device. The general appeal around these products is that they’re “healthier alternatives to cigarettes”. Though these products do produce less exposure to harmful chemicals usually found in cigarettes, they still contain them and other harmful chemicals.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing what Juuls and vapes are, what’s actually in them, and how dangerous these products can be.
Vapes & Juuls
As we previously mentioned, vapes/Juuls are devices that contain flavored liquids that are heated up to produce a cloudy vapor, similar to cigarettes but much denser. The device is typically made up of four components: a cartridge, heating element, battery to power the heating element, and mouthpiece. The cartridge holds a flavored liquid that provides a more enjoyable experience for the user who is smoking from it. You can typically expect fruity flavors for these vapes like mango, strawberry, cherry, etc. Some flavors even get a little more adventurous like popular cereal flavors, soda flavors, even birthday cake. This sounds delightful to many people, but what they don’t realize is that these products do more harm than good.
What’s in Vape/Juul?
Though Juuls and vapes are marketed to be “healthier” when compared to cigarettes, they can still be harmful. The liquid in these cartridges contains nicotine, which gives the user that ‘buzzed’ feeling. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that stimulates adrenaline in your body. Within seconds of nicotine being in your system, it travels to the brain and attaches to receptors to stimulate the body. It creates a sense of euphoria from the release of dopamine in the brain. Euphoria sounds great, but what about the negative side effects? If nicotine enters your body, you can expect a few things to happen: Racing heart, shallow breath, raised blood pressure/heart rate, and restricted blood flow to the heart. These are all side effects of nicotine use. Prolonged nicotine use can even cause a person to be hyperglycemic, due to the lack of insulin being released into the pancreas and the excess glucose in the bloodstream.
Here’s a fun fact for you: Did you know that there’s about 59 mg/ml of nicotine in one Juul cartridge? That’s the equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. Considering the fact that Juul pods last for about 200 puffs, that doesn’t sound as healthy as people make it out to be, does it? Even if users think it’s better than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, they’re still smoking the equivalent of one whole pack when they use Juuls. Even more alarming is that many young adults, and even teens, have taken up vaping or juuling.
Young Adults & Teens Vaping/Juuling
People tend to believe that these devices are safer alternatives to smoking cigarettes. True, the amount of chemical exposure in these products is lower than cigarettes, but that doesn’t take away the fact that they are still dangerous and highly addictive. One dangerous thing about this trend is that the people who are prominently using these products are young adults or teenagers, people whose brains are still developing. These products usually carry the same chemicals found in cigarettes, but at a lower dose. However, this does not mean they are any less harmful. Since their brains are still developing, it can be easier for their brains to be rewired into thinking they absolutely ‘need’ these devices to function normally. This creates addictive habits and dangerous dependencies. People tend to think of illegal substances as drugs that usually create addictive habits, but sometimes it can be the seemingly harmless substances that can create the worst addictions.
Just like any case involving substance abuse, there is bound to be addiction and withdrawal. If the user doesn’t get their “fix”, they can start to experience withdrawal, as any other addict would. Irritability, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms can all be experienced during nicotine withdrawal. Using vapes and Juuls not only creates an unhealthy dependency, but it can also create an increased risk of smoking actual cigarettes. Studies have shown that teens and young adults that vape are four times more likely to take up habitual smoking when compared to someone who doesn’t vape. Unfortunately, further studies are needed on vapes and Juuls since they are relatively new products. It is still unknown when we will know the full extent of side-effects from vaping/juuling.
These products can be extremely dangerous and highly addictive to these young demographics. Vapes and Juuls can even be gateways to other substances. Since young adults are who vape are four times more likely to take up smoking cigarettes, who’s to say they won’t move onto other drugs like marijuana? Something that’s even more alarming is that people are starting to vape marijuana oils, which makes it easier for them to hide in public. With the marijuana business growing every day, it’s no wonder that someone was able to put cannabis into a vape device. It’s one thing when young adults subject themselves to marijuana, but if marijuana vapes start getting into the school systems, more than they already have, then we’ll have a bigger issue on our hands.
At the end of the day, vaping and Juuling is dangerous; they are not as safe or harmless as the companies make them out to be. Vapes have the same exact chemicals and addictive properties as normal cigarettes do. Though they may be in lower doses, that doesn’t take away the fact that these young adults and teens can develop the same level of addiction as someone who smokes normal cigarettes. Next time you or someone you know buys a cartridge, consider the dangers of vapes/Juuls.
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