Throughout the nation, it is common knowledge that traditional cigarettes lead to very serious health consequences. Heavy smokers are at risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and a premature death. But it is also extremely challenging to quit smoking once you start, the reason that many try and fail many times to kick the habit.
When those addicted to nicotine try to quit and experience the many unpleasant side effects of withdrawal, they often throw in the towel and go back to smoking. For thousands of people, the electronic cigarette Juul was the answer they’d been waiting on for years, according to WISN News.
The Juul is a tiny, sleek device that resembles a USB drive. It uses flavored cartridges, called “pods” which contain the same amount of nicotine as a traditional pack of cigarettes. However, the pods do not contain tobacco, tar, or the other dangerous substances found in a real cigarette. This device was originally created to be a tool for heavy adult smokers to finally kick the habit for good. Nevertheless, teens and children were intrigued by the cool design and flavored pods, which come in flavors such as cool mint, mango and fruit medley. Before long, vaping became an epidemic.
These devices are easy to use subtly, as they don’t give off much of an odor. Thus, high school students and even younger children have begun using them in secret. You have to be 18-years-old and show an ID to purchase the product, but young people often find a way around the rule.
"It's probably the worst for kids but it might be the best for adult smokers." Juul's reusable high-nicotine e-cigarette is both popular and feared. https://t.co/fkrGCY2LgP— The Associated Press (@AP) April 27, 2019
The Food and Drug Administration has long been after Juul due to the widespread rise in minors getting addicted to nicotine. The FDA has even threatened to ban flavored pods altogether to make these products less appealing to young people.
But not everyone wants restrictions to be placed on these products, especially adults that have found success in using them to quit smoking. Chantel Williams of Portland, Oregon, said that the device was essentially a lifesaver for her. She’d tried everything from gums to patches and even other brands of electronic cigarettes to kick the habit. In the end it was the Juul that did the job.
“I look better. I feel better and I don’t smell. It’s fantastic,” she said.
Dr. Nancy Rigotti, a tobacco treatment specialist at Harvard Medical School, said that this is what makes the Juul issue so controversial.
“That’s the trouble with Juul: It’s probably the worst for kids but it might be the best for adult smokers,” she said.