Juul vaporizer: What’s it, why do teenagers like it and is it protected? – CNET

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San Francisco-based e-cigarette firm Juul makes headlines left and proper as a result of its explosive surge in recognition (particularly amongst youngsters) and market share.

Even after the corporate was compelled to shutter its social media presence whereas the FDA investigated considerations that Juul was selling underage use of tobacco merchandise, Juul continues to show well-liked with rising gross sales and affectionate nicknames, such because the “iPhone of vaporizers.”

However what precisely is Juul, and is it protected to make use of one? Listed here are all the small print you could find out about Juul.

What’s it?

Juul is like many different e-cigarettes, however with a pair caveats that set it aside. First, this vape is modern and hardly noticeable: It is USB-drive design will be enclosed within the palm of a hand, and it would not produce a large plume of vapor like another e-cigarettes. Second, the nicotine content material in its cartridges or “pods” set a brand new precedent for the e-cigarette market.

E-cigarettes work by changing liquid nicotine right into a vapor that the consumer inhales. They’re battery operated and intend to offer the same stimulus to that of smoking common cigarettes.

Juul is small and discreet

Portland Press Herald/Getty

Developed by two former people who smoke, Juul’s mission is to “enhance the lives of 1 billion grownup people who smoke by eliminating cigarettes.” A technique the corporate encourages the change from cigarettes to Juul is with their Juul calculator, the place folks can estimate how a lot cash they’d save in the event that they used a Juul as an alternative.

How does Juul evaluate to different e-cigarettes?

Juul’s excessive nicotine content material was an anomaly within the e-cigarette market, however now researchers observe it appears to be the rule. After Juul’s surge in recognition, different e-cigarette producers started bumping up the nicotine content material of their merchandise.

Juul makes use of a closed system, which implies customers cannot refill the pods themselves, a useful issue for high quality management.  Some e-cigarettes, such because the Suorin Drop, use open programs that enable customers to refill the vape themselves with bottles of e-liquid or e-juice.

Juul’s small measurement, compact design and minimal plume make it extra discreet than many different manufacturers. With no buttons or switches — simply disposable, snap-on cartridges — Juul is straightforward, and its built-in temperature regulation prevents you from experiencing a “dry hit.” Dry hits happen when vape cartridges get too low on liquid or once they overheat, and produce a burnt style and throat irritation.

The Juul vaping system in Washington, DC.

The Juul e-cigarette makes use of closed cartridges of “juice.”

The Washington Submit/Getty

What’s within the liquid that the Juul turns to vapor?

The Juul includes two elements. There’s the e-cigarette itself, which accommodates the battery, temperature regulator and sensors that learn the cost stage. The pod accommodates Juul’s patented e-liquid formulation. A combination of nicotine salts, glycerol, propylene glycol, benzoic acid and flavorings.

Glycerol serves as a humectant, which implies it provides moisture to the answer. Glycerol is assessed as “usually acknowledged as protected” by the FDA, so it is authorized for consumption. Propylene glycol is an artificial compound generally utilized in polyester manufacturing, however it’s additionally authorized as an additive for meals, beauty and pharmaceutical merchandise. Benzoic acid happens naturally in lots of vegetation, however its artificial type can be broadly used as a meals additive and preservative. It is “usually acknowledged as protected” for these makes use of, however will be an environmental and well being hazard in giant portions.Flavorings is an ambiguous time period, however most frequently refers to varied pure and artificial substances that corporations use to taste their merchandise. For instance, Juul would not specify what’s in it is mint-flavored pod, however it most likely accommodates peppermint extract or oil. 

The nicotine salts in Juul pods are a kind of nicotine that supposedly feels extra like a cigarette when inhaled, versus different vapes that use freebase nicotine. Freebase nicotine, which may trigger coughing and depart a movie in folks’s throats, is harsher and generally utilized in cigars.

Juul pods at present are available in eight flavors; cucumber, creme, mint, mango, menthol, fruit, Virginia tobacco and traditional tobacco. It is price noting that the FDA’s Household Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Management Act banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, so it is doable that this would possibly come into play for vapes in the future, too.

How a lot nicotine does a Juul ship?

Juul measures nicotine content material by weight, which is totally different from most manufacturers, which normally measure by quantity. Juul initially solely offered pods with 5 p.c nicotine by weight, however began providing three p.c pods in August 2018.

In keeping with an older model of Juul’s FAQ web page, one 5 p.c pod accommodates roughly the identical quantity of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes, or about 200 puffs. Nonetheless, this info is now not out there on Juul’s web site, and there is not any exact details about three p.c pods, both. Nonetheless, an article within the New England Journal of Drugs says that the 5 p.c pods comprise a focus of 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid.

In distinction, most vapes pre-Juul frenzy contained roughly one to 3 p.c nicotine by quantity. A examine within the journal Tobacco Management notes that the brand new common appears to be rising to that 5 p.c mark. Juul’s creators elevated the nicotine as a result of they felt different vapes available on the market could not evaluate to the sensations delivered by common cigarettes.

An older model of Juul’s FAQ web page disclosed exact details about the nicotine content material in Juulpods. Nonetheless, this info is now not on the positioning.


Is it addictive? Is it extra addictive than cigarettes?

Nicotine is a recognized addictive substance, and Juul isn’t any exception. There are not any research that show whether or not or not Juul is extra addictive than common cigarettes, however I definitely know individuals who appear as hooked on their Juul as they’re to their iPhones, and I’ve watched associates throw matches when their pod runs dry.

Nicotine is a dangerous drug, no matter supply technique. It is linked to varied modifications within the physique and mind, and public well being officers fear that most individuals, particularly youth, aren’t conscious of the potential penalties.

What are the dangers of vaping?

Many individuals take into account vaping a safer different to smoking as a result of it eliminates tobacco, which is a recognized carcinogen. However cigarettes comprise many chemical compounds past tobacco, and e-cigarettes comprise a number of the similar.

Research have detected acetamide (a compound utilized in industrial solvents), formaldehyde and benzene (one other recognized carcinogen) in varied e-cigarettes manufacturers.

Not all e-cigarette liquids comprise all of those poisonous compounds, and even in those who do comprise them, the focus is not at all times excessive sufficient to current concern. No research to detect these chemical compounds have been performed particularly on Juul e-liquid.


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The actual difficulty arises when corporations do not disclose what’s of their merchandise. Juul overtly states its e-liquid substances, all of which seem like protected in affordable doses — besides the nicotine.

Nicotine is a extremely addictive substance that causes cravings and bonafide withdrawal signs when these cravings are ignored. Whether or not or not vaping is a “gateway” to cigarette smoking is irrelevant as a result of vaping itself is an addictive behavior.

Nicotine is not simply addictive, however it’s additionally poisonous. It stimulates your adrenal glands, spiking adrenaline manufacturing and resulting in a collection of bodily reactions: Customers expertise a launch of glucose and a rise in coronary heart charge, respiratory charge and blood strain.

The drug appears to behave as each a stimulant and a depressant on the similar time, because it’s linked to elevated alertness but additionally elevated rest.

Use of nicotine can be related to plenty of uncomfortable side effects on organs and organ programs, together with:

Elevated threat of blood clotsAtherosclerosisPeptic ulcersChanges in coronary heart rhythm Lung spasms 

Lastly, e-cigarettes work by heating a liquid into an aerosol that the consumer inhales. Whereas the quantity of aerosol in a single puff is not prone to hurt anybody, it is price noting that inhaling aerosols is related to impaired judgement and functioning.

Why is Juul so well-liked, particularly amongst teenagers?


Juul’s starter package accommodates the Juul machine, a USB charger and 4 Juulpods for $50.


Though Juul calls for age verification upon navigating to its web site and holds a agency stance towards minors’ use of Juuls, these vapes are nonetheless wildly well-liked with teenagers.

Relying on the state, nobody underneath 18 or 21 is meant to have the ability to buy e-cigarettes, or any tobacco merchandise. However in keeping with a report from the CDC, e-cigarette use is rising amongst center faculty and highschool college students, and greater than three.5 million of them used e-cigarettes in 2018.

Promoting is a part of the issue. In keeping with the CDC, greater than 18 million highschool and center faculty college students mixed had been uncovered to e-cigarette advertisements in 2014. And Stanford researchers level out that Juul’s advertising and marketing hasn’t been congruent with its adults-only stance. 

One can guess it is so well-liked for a number of causes:

It is comparatively cheap: You should purchase Juul’s “starter package,” which incorporates the e-cigarette, USB charger and 4 pods for $50. After that, packs of 4 pods price $21.It is discreet: Folks could also be extra inclined to make use of Juul due to its compact design that does not look or scent like a cigarette. It is easy to make use of: Simply click on a pod into the cartridge to make use of a Juul, and easily join it to a pc or another USB port to cost it.It is available in many flavors: Juul’s candy taste choices make it a extra palatable possibility than common cigarettes and lots of different e-cigarette choices. One CDC survey notes that 31 p.c of survey respondents (all college students in grades six to 12) selected e-cigarettes due to  “flavors corresponding to mint, sweet, fruit, or chocolate.” 

The explosive recognition of Juul and others prefer it amongst youngsters is especially troubling as a result of they typically don’t see it as dangerous. A report confirmed that 63% of individuals aged 14 to 25 aren’t even conscious that vaporizers like Juul comprise nicotine in any respect.

What is the FDA’s stance on Juul?

Properly, the FDA would not love Juul.

In April 2018, the FDA demanded that Juul submit advertising and marketing and analysis paperwork, and clarify what Juul is aware of about the usage of its merchandise amongst teenagers. A month later, as a part of the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, the company additionally requested info from a number of different e-cigarette producers. And in October 2018, FDA visited Juul’s San Francisco headquarters to collect info on the corporate’s gross sales and advertising and marketing ways.

Even if promoting tobacco merchandise to minors is unlawful, The FDA has up to now uncovered 40 violations for unlawful gross sales of Juul merchandise to younger folks. Warning letters had been issued for these violations. The corporate additionally shut down its Fb and Instagram accounts in November 2018 to keep away from selling its product to teenagers and non-smokers — two teams that Juul particularly doesn’t need to develop into clients.


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In an announcement, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated, “…the nicotine in these merchandise can rewire an adolescent’s mind, resulting in years of habit.”

However, he continues: “Make no mistake. We see the chance for digital nicotine supply programs (ENDS) merchandise like e-cigarettes and different novel types of nicotine-delivery to offer a doubtlessly much less dangerous different for at present addicted particular person grownup people who smoke … However we have to step in to guard our children.”

How did the corporate get its begin?

Juul Labs, Inc. spun off from Pax Labs in 2015. Founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees co-founded the corporate when, as former people who smoke, they determined they wished a greater different to cigarettes than something that was already available on the market.

Their thought of “higher” manifested as Juul’s excessive nicotine content material and slim design that places off little or no vapor in comparison with different vapes. Since its debut, Juul has grown to dominate greater than 50 p.c of the market share.

In December 2018, Altria — one of many largest corporations on this planet that produces tobacco merchandise — purchased a 35% stake of Juul for $12.eight billion dollars. Altria owns Phillip Morris, which owns the manufacturers Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament and different cigarette manufacturers.

Juul copycats


Sweet and dessert-flavored e-juice is attractive to youngsters who could be in any other case turned off by vaping or smoking.

Zonk E Liquid

Juul’s staggering success prompted many e-cigarette manufacturers to observe go well with with excessive nicotine content material and new designs. The FDA is not pleased with these copycat manufacturers, and neither is Juul, who filed a criticism with the US Worldwide Commerce Fee for patent infringement.

Everybody ought to be involved about copycat Juuls, particularly those who overtly market to youngsters utilizing attractive flavors like Blue Slushie Lemonade and strawberry whipped cream. 

The attributes of those vapes — enticing, compact and freed from odor — make them well-liked with younger folks as a result of they’ll simply conceal them from authority figures, like lecturers and oldsters.

Juul’s recognition and the inflow of comparable merchandise raises concern that this new “pod mod” class of e-cigarette merchandise isn’t just a pattern and can affect the selections and habits of adolescents for his or her total lives.

Staying true to its stance on nicotine use amongst minors, Juul introduced that they’re going after corporations who do market to youngsters and youths, however the FDA warns that that is an ongoing battle. 



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