Don’t Let the JUULs Fool You: The Unglamorous Side to Vaping

By Bethany Vega

Vaping is the hit new thing right now. Through advertising as a healthier option to smoking and offering users different flavors, Vaping usage is on rise.  Vaping is not only an alternative to smoking, but is becoming a trend through users creating different blow talents. We must stop and ask ourselves is this really a healthier option? What’s really in there? 

The first thing we should look at is the “healthier option” to smoking. How true is that? Not at all true, in fact, many of the same cancer causing ingredients in tobacco products are found in vapes such as: nicotine, propylene glycol, lead, nickel, and tin. While some companies say they are nicotine free there are still the other unhealthy chemicals going into the user’s body. 

At least the flavors are all natural, or so one may think. The truth is not all of the flavoring is natural, and while some flavors are listed as safe for consumption, it is not intended to be inhaled directly into our lungs. There are still studies being done to determine the harmful effects of inhaling these flavors into the lungs. One of the chemicals found in e-liquids is called diacetyl. Diacetyl has been linked to a serious lung disease known as Bronchiolitis Obliterations or “popcorn lung”, a condition of irreversible inflammation and scarring in the lungs. 

In November of 2017 a new law passed in New Jersey raising the age requirement for purchase and usage of tobacco products to 21 years old from the previous 19 year old requirement. Since 2014, when e-cigarettes and vapes hit the market, tobacco usage has decreased in middle and high school students. However, the usage of e-cigarettes and vapes has increased. Despite the new law, youth continue to partake in vaping and using e-cigarettes. 

 The vaping market has changed over time creating vapes that are smaller and more discreet making it easy for youth to sneak these items into schools. Youth are using these not only for vaping, but also “one hitters” for marijuana. Some vapes can look like pens, or everyday school items. One of the more popular and recent ones on the market, the “JUUL”, looks like a flash drive. On the website JUUL uses the line, “The Smoking Alternative, unlike any E-Cigarette or Vape…”. The JUUL is so popular among youth that Business Insider commented, “Among teens, the Juul is not just a noun. It’s also a verb.” This is something taking youth by storm.

The Southwest Council offers presentations to adults 18 and older, one of them being a presentation on vaping. We include several vaping items, activities to test your knowledge, and the latest information in our vaping presentations. If you are interested in having a presentation, please reach out to the Southwest Council at (856)-794-1011 or visit us online at www.southwestcouncil.org

 
 Beth has been with the Southwest Council, Inc. since 2016 and serves as an Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Specialist. Beth provides evidence-based school and community-wide programs in Gloucester County.

Beth has been with the Southwest Council, Inc. since 2016 and serves as an Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Specialist. Beth provides evidence-based school and community-wide programs in Gloucester County.