Have you heard of Juuling? Sounds cool, right?
Juuling is a new form of electronic cigarette or vaping. This device comes in a slim, sleek package and looks almost identical to a USB flash drive. It can even be charged in your computer’s USB port.
Juuls have inserts called pods that deliver flavoring and nicotine. Similar to e-cigarettes, these pods carry nicotine and flavoring on chemical carriers, such as propylene glycol and glycerin. Propylene glycol and glycerin are also found in things like anti-freeze and paints. Added flavorings can also be toxic, causing inflammation and fibrosis of the lungs. When heated and inhaled, these chemicals can be potentially dangerous to the body.
Although legally you must be of legal age, 18 in Nebraska, to buy nicotine products or Juuls, they are easily accessible and can be ordered online, hence the danger to youth.
We know some of the chemicals when inhaled are dangerous to the body, especially lungs, but even more of a concern, the high nicotine level creates nicotine dependence, especially in children whose brains are vulnerable to addiction. One pod carries about 5 percent nicotine by weight, which is equivalent to about 1 pack of cigarettes.
Do you know if you’re addicted to nicotine? Nicotine is a tricky player and over time your brain creates more places for nicotine to go. When these receptors are empty, you start to feel withdrawal symptoms. These can be feelings of nervousness, anxiety, loss of focus, nausea, irritability, shakiness, or increased anger. Typically, most people will self-medicate by smoking when they start to feel these symptoms. Smoking or vaping will fill the receptors with nicotine, making them satisfied for a short time. This cycle will continue over and over until nicotine addiction is in full swing, requiring repetitive use to ward off withdrawal symptoms.
The danger of Juuling is not only exposure to potentially harmful flavorings and additives, but the cause of nicotine addiction and potential transfer to combustible cigarettes, which we know cause cancer, heart disease and more.
Teachers, administrators, parents and the medical community should be aware of this growing trend.
Bottom line, don’t be a fool, stay clear of the Juul!
If you or anyone you know is suffering from nicotine addiction there is help. Contact Nebraska Medicine’s Nicotine Dependence Clinic at 402.559.4389 for an appointment to be seen by a Tobacco Treatment Specialist.