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The FDA Tightens its Grip on JUUL

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As e-cigarettes grow in popularity, a large proportion of their users are adolescents. Kids under 18 across America are drawn to a certain e-cigarette brand in particular: JUUL. This company dominates 72% of the e-cigarette industry. It is not hard to see why; flavors such as mint, mango, cucumber, fruit medley, and creme brûlée are only to name a handful of the creative ways that JUUL entices its customers.

But the dramatic incline of teenage smoking and vaping has placed increasing alarm throughout the country, leaving many wondering if JUUL’s advertising has anything to do with this.

Dr. Marie Schroeder of Long Island Pediatrics stated, “Absolutely–there has been an increase in teenage smoking. I find that this year it is much more frequent and accepted than ever before.” Schroeder also noticed that many of her patients are trying e-cigarettes at a very young age. “Patients as young as seventh grade have told me that they vape or use e-cigarettes. They think it’s cool and trendy, and they don’t realize that it could be just as bad as smoking cigarettes,” added Schroeder.

In late September of this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a surprise inspection of JUUL headquarters. Over 1,000 documents were collected for examination of the company’s sales and marketing practices.

The FDA then made it illegal for convenience stores to sell any form of e-cigarette to minors. However, this did not eradicate the issue of reselling. To solve this problem, they monitored anyone buying online in bulk. A large purchase could indicate that a person is buying JUUL only to resell it to adolescents.

Now, JUUL and four other e-cigarette companies are given 60 days to show how they will reduce underage usage. Recently, JUUL began a multi-million dollar campaign of posters for high school bathrooms condemning vape and public service announcements explaining the dangers of it on popular media platforms and websites.

Some of its associated hazards are nicotine addiction, damage to brain and lung development, and gateway to other drugs such as cigarettes. According to The National Center for Health Research website, “It is not replacing cigarette smoking but rather encouraging it: A 2017 study found that non-smoking adults were four times more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes after only 18 months of vaping, which includes JUUL.”

Additionally, the chemicals that e-cigarettes contain can leave smokers and “vapers” at a higher risk of pulmonary issues, such as bronchitis and other infections. JUUL contains almost twice the concentration of nicotine in comparison to other e-cigarettes and vape pens. This has had a detrimental effect. Studies show that students who vape perform worse on tasks related to memory and attention.

According to Dr. Schroeder, “There is currently no research recording the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. This means that no one knows what happens when they’re used over a period of time. JUUL could potentially be just as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.” Lastly, because of its addictive nature, JUUL creates a need for nicotine. Teens that JUUL are much more likely to begin smoking cigarettes and try other drugs in search for the high they get off of nicotine.

The end result of the FDA warnings has yet to occur, with many awaiting its arrival. In less than 60 days, the public will know whether or not JUUL will be allowed to continue their company. If they fail to prove that they do not advertise to minors, their company will be at risk of facing severe consequences–as extreme as shutdown– from the FDA.

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About the Writer
Julia Swerdin, Staff

Hi, I am a member of the class of 2022. I am on the school kickline team, and I love to read and write.

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The FDA Tightens its Grip on JUUL