No better than cigarettes

In September the chief of the FDA called e-cigarettes an “epidemic” sweeping the country.

At the forefront of e-cigarettes are JUUL’s, electronic cigarettes largely targeted at young adults.   With a cunning, sleek design, the startup is on its way to dominating the nicotine industry “controlling 68 percent of electronic cigarettes in America’s market” according to the Washington Post.

JUUL’s takeover has been on the rise with a $15 billion firm making $650 million earlier this month according to the Wall Street Journal.

With JUUL’s sleek and innovative design, it has appealed to the teen eye, and growing trends only make this matter worse.

Because JUUL has become a trend, it has become an issue to keep these devices out of minors’ hands. Nicotine is a seriously addictive drug and has become a red flag in the FDA’s eyes, especially because of how much nicotine is in one individual pod. The FDA has threatened to regulate these devices and to take JUUL off shelves permanently if JUUL cannot fix the issue of minors getting ahold of their products.

JUUL has become a very successful business, especially when considering how new the company is. According to the Washington Post, JUUL’s San Francisco based company was started in July of 2017. The company has made outrageous profits of $15 billion and has grown tremendously over the course of a year.

Vaping has been around for a while, but a new trend has arisen: JUUL. JUUL is a new form of vaping, but with high amounts of nicotine. A single JUUL pod contains the same nicotine levels as a pack of cigarettes, which is an alarming amount. This puts teens at risk of addiction because of such high levels of nicotine.

Countries like the U. K., according to the Washington Post, have banned these devices because of high nicotine levels. JUUL was created to help smokers quit smoking, but instead fell into teens hands. Because of the innovative design, teens have become drawn to this product. The FDA argues teens are also drawn to this product because of flavors such as “fruit medley” “cherry crush” and “melon,” according to the Washington Post.

However, it is important to reflect on how long this trend’s shelf life might be. JUUL has become very successful and the trend has hit nationwide. Trends come and go, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see JUUL fade out. The nicotine levels in this product are alarming, but if it was made for an alternative to smoking what harm would it be? If the FDA took this device off shelves it would hurt adults who have become dependent on this device. JUUL is a better alternative than smoking, and to those who use it as an alternative, it would hurt them if this device was discontinued. Should it be the fault of the company if minors abuse the product? The same problem goes for alcohol or other legalized drugs in America.

JUUL has become a successful company that has made insane profits. Because of the design of the product and recent trends, teens have been drawn to JUUL. JUUL is dangerous to teens, because of the high nicotine concentration and lead to addiction. Although this product should not be used by teens, should it not be used by adults too? The alarming rate of minors using this product is dangerous but is this said to be an epidemic or a trend by teens who are just trying to fit in with their peers among social media.

Although the obvious dangers of JUUL and a fine line between epidemic or trend, we should educate ourselves about e-cigarettes and other electronic vape devices. Nicotine is dangerous to teen health and side effects should be looked over as well as addiction.

JUUL has risen on social media platforms, where teens are most exposed to. Pressure to fit in among peers on social media is high, and some don’t think twice about JUUL.

What we can do about this epidemic is to be cautious and stay educated about this subject. More word should go around about JUUL’s dangers and what nicotine can do to a young person. It is up to us what we do with JUUL and how as a nation can stay safe around electronic vapor devices.

Emily Pearce can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

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