Electronic cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. E-cigarettes have a battery, a heating element and a place to hold e-liquid. Most e-liquids contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive chemical. As the e-cigarette industry continues to evolve, one sleek device that is becoming popular among youth is called the JUUL.
The JUUL nicotine delivery system resembles a USB flash drive and uses disposable, interchangeable flavored “pods” – cartridges with enticing flavors and scents like crème brulée, mango and fruit medley. Each JUUL pod contains approximately as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes, or 200 puffs, at a nicotine concentration of five percent.1 Its discrete size and design make it easy to disguise at home, in public, and even at school.
Though fairly new, the JUUL has already made its inroads in terms of popularity among Generation Z (those born after 1996.) The e-cigarette brand is pervasive in social media accounts eagerly followed by teens and young adults, with entire youth-oriented Instagram fan pages specifically dedicated to posts about JUUL. The trend is growing so much that it has even generated its own slang verb, “JUULing.”
The rise of e-cigarette use among youth is cause for concern. Nationally, kids and young adults are more likely than adults to use e-cigarettes.2 Specific to Florida – the 2017 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey found that our kids and teens are using e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco product.3 In 2017, Florida high school students used e-cigarettes at nearly four times the rate of conventional cigarettes – 15.7 percent compared to 4.2 percent.4 Additionally, more than one in three Florida high school students reported trying an e-cigarette in 2017.5
Not only does using nicotine during adolescence affect teens’ susceptibility to addiction (since their brains are still developing) it also can harm the developing brain.6 There is also evidence that today’s e-cigarette user could be tomorrow’s conventional smoker.7,8,9,10,11,12 While not every type of e-cigarette uses nicotine, most do – including the increasingly popular JUUL.
Together, we have made great progress in reducing smoking rates, but sadly tobacco use is still the number one preventable cause of death, both in Florida and across the country. E-cigarettes like JUUL are a new way for the industry to try to get a generation of “replacement smokers” addicted and replace the millions who have died from the harmful health effects of nicotine.
For tips on talking to your kids about e-cigarette use, please check out our guide, “How to Talk to Your Kids About Tobacco” at tobaccofreeflorida.com/tipsforparents.
1 JUUL | The Smoking Alternative, Unlike Any E-Cigarette or Vape.” JUUL | The Smoking Alternative, Unlike Any E-Cigarette or Vape.
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General—Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016.
3 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2017.
4 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2017.
5 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2017.
6 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General—Executive Summary. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016.
7 Center for Public Health Systems Science. Association of Noncigarette Tobacco Product Use With Future Cigarette Smoking Among Youth in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, 2013-2015.. Watkins SL, Glantz SA, Chaffee BW. JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 02, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.4173.
8 Coleman BN, Apelberg BJ, Ambrose BK, et al. Association between electronic cigarette use and openness to cigarette smoking among US young adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2015; 17(2):212-218.
9 Thomas A Wills, Rebecca Knight, James D Sargent, Frederick X Gibbons, Ian Pagano, Rebecca J Williams Longitudinal study of e-cigarette use and onset of cigarette smoking among high school students in Hawaii. Tob Control doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052705.
10 Smokefree.gov. E-cigarettes and National Adolescent Cigarette Use: 2004–2014.. Dutra Lauren M, ScD and Glantz Stanton A, PhD. Pediatrics. American Society of Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2450. January 2017.
11 Miech R, Patrick ME, O’Malley PM, et al E-cigarette use as a predictor of cigarette smoking: results from a 1-year follow-up of a national sample of 12th grade students Tobacco Control Published Online First: 06 February 2017. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-053291.
12 Soneji S, Barrington-Trimis JL, Wills TA, et al. Association between initial use of e-cigarettes and subsequent cigarette smoking among adolescents and young adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(8):788-797. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2634377?redirect=true.