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Juuling: Cigarettes for the Next Generation

"Juuls: the latest e-cigarettes. The growth in popularity of this handheld electronic device throughout Marin County has been deemed as a cool trend. However, before you decide to purchase or smoke one, you should understand what exactly you are putting into your body.

Let’s start at the beginning — what exactly is a Juul? Pax Labs, the device’s creator based out of San Francisco, describes it as an “intensely satisfying closed-system vapor experience.” The Juul can be physically broken down into two pieces: the shell and the pod. The shell is made of aluminum encasing a Lithium ion battery, a circuit board, and a pressure sensor. The other piece is the replaceable pod, which comes in many flavors, made of food-grade plastics, and contains a stainless steel vapor path. This stainless steel vapor path, combined with the battery, powers and heats the vapor, delivering a “smooth and consistent delivery” and “high quality vaping experience.”

At this point, juuling seems harmless — how can a handheld, flavored vaping pen actually affect you? A tell-tale sign should be that the directions listed under the pod contents is a “Warning from Pax Labs” that “no tobacco or e-liquid product should ever be considered ‘safe’.” The official ingredients of the pods are listed as follows: glycerol, propylene glycol, natural oils, extracts and flavor, nicotine and benzoic acid. Let’s break down the contents of the pods.

  • Glycerol: Generally safe for most adults as it is a natural occurring colorless, odorless liquid chemical. It’s also non-toxic and sweet-tasting, which contributes to the various flavors of the pods.

  • Propylene Glycol: Also an odorless, colorless, synthetic liquid that helps absorb water. The FDA has classified this chemical as an additive that is “generally classified as safe.” According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, when this vapor enters the environment, it can be found in several of the 1,416 hazardous waste sites around the country. The environmental degradation within these National Priority Sites has long term effects on our country.

  • Natural Oils: Nothing is provided on the content of these natural oils.

  • Extracts and Flavor: Again, nothing is provided on the specific ingredients for this additive.

  • Benzoic Acid: Commonly added to food and beverages as a preservative. It is “considered to be safe” (note that the FDA hasn’t labeled it as officially a safe substance to consume, but it’s merely considered), and is used in manufactured products because it inhibits the growth of both bacteria and fungi.

Lastly, Juuls contain Nicotine. In each pod, there is 59 mg/mL of Nicotine, which is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes per pod. In the FAQ section of the Juul website, they highlight that “Nicotine is not appropriate for use by minors. Nicotine is addictive.” So what is nicotine? Nicotine is a chemical found in the leaves of the tobacco plant and constitutes to anywhere between 0.6% -3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco. Nicotine and tobacco are not only highly addictive, but even the smallest of doses can impair your health."

Source: The Roar

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