Bahr: Juuls taken over by teenagers


Juuling is among the newest additions in the continuing trend of e-cigarette products being promoted as a healthier option than smoking actual cigarettes.

Connor Bahr

Juul. This name has grown from a small e-cigarette company to a household name that either stirs shame, anger or excitement in whomever hears it. Juul’s infamousy comes from its popularity with underage teenagers.

As the popularity of Juul grows, so does the peer pressure within those teenage groups to Juul. I do not think that “juuling” is a good thing for underage teenagers. However, it is often cited that Juul should receive punishment for trying to entice underage teenagers to try their product, which I think is downright false.

The number one reason people think Juul is attempting to bring in customers that are underage are the flavors. Sweet, fruity, flavors such as mango and fruit medley are often claimed to be marketed toward younger people. I don’t think there is any merit to this argument. No matter what age you are, sweet flavor is a good flavor. I don’t think Juul was trying to sell to younger people when they created the flavors. I think they simply wanted to sell more pods by selling a product that tastes good. Using this logic, Mikes Hard Lemonade should have to get rid of their drink flavors such as strawberry, raspberry and, ironically, mango.

Another cited grievance with Juul is the amount of nicotine within a single pod. Ads by the Truth Initiative say that one Juul pod contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. This is true. However, I believe these commercials are attempting to play on uninformed people who do not know that nicotine is not the harmful, cancer-causing parts of a cigarette. Judging from the ads alone, one would think that nicotine is the sole chemical responsible for cancer from cigarettes. This is false. Juuling is scientifically safer than cigarettes. For one, juuling does not require a combustion reaction, meaning dangerous chemicals including carbon monoxide are not ingested. However, nicotine is a dangerous, addictive chemical that should be avoided altogether. One thing I will agree with is the fact that juuling will lead to smoking cigarettes. This makes juuling incredibly dangerous for underage people.

The Juul design is a small, USB-like device. It is easy to conceal, hardly smells, and isn’t expensive, making it the perfect device for underage teenagers to use for nicotine. This isn’t to say that Juul purposefully made this design to attract underage teenagers. I think they simply made that design so that the device would be unique, compact and easy to carry around.

Juul’s stated purpose for their devices is to help smokers quit smoking, which it might do very well. The problem is that the Juul device was taken over by underage teenagers who wanted nicotine without the stigma of smoking, or the difficulty of hiding smoking from parents. Banning fruity flavors or increasing the age at which you can buy Juul pods is not going to stop the underage people who use Juuls. To decrease underage juuling, I think the right action would be to spread more information about the health risks involved with juuling.