The concept of e-cigarettes was always going to be incredibly wide-spread among todays excessively health conscious society. For adolescents, e-cigarettes seem specifically designed for them. Easy to use, with no residual smell in the room or on your clothing, it was bound to blow up with people who craved the buzz of the traditional cigarette, but didn’t want to commit to the hassle of smoking a real cigarette.
‘Juul Labs’ was founded in 2017 with the goal of making cigarettes obsolete. With it’s flavoured liquid cartridges and rechargeable battery, in the past couple of years Juul sales have risen 800 per cent. Today the company is worth 15 billion dollars. The practise has now become so common, particularly with the youth, that it’s usage has now been termed ‘juuling’. But what are the reasons behind it’s popularity with young people?
One of the reasons and the first thing anyone will point out about a juul are it’s design. It is sleek and slender, often times mocked to resembling a USB. However, it’s discreet style makes it barely noticeable and easily hidden in a clenched fist. This makes it especially appealing for adolescents who need to hide their smoking habits from authority figures; juul is easy to hide in your room or classroom and the resemblance to a USB works in the advantage of the youth.
Moreover, another reason why Juul sales have increased so rapidly among youth is the way Juul has marketed itself. The company recently came under fire for supposedly intentionally attempting to market to a younger audience. Although Juul vehemently denies these claims, questionable marketing campaigns involving young, teenage looking models smoking the product in trendy clothing and bright colours seems to indicate otherwise. Additionally, as Juul was intended to outsell cigarettes by using a different cocktail of ingredients, it was able to present itself as a safer and healthier alternative to the traditional cigarette. The perception of juul as less harmful than cigarettes is widely accepted, albeit heavily controversial, and certainly accounts to a portion of it’s popularity.
Furthermore, the availability of fruity, sweet flavours including mango and mint have been incredibly popular with young people. Juul is also user-friendly; for the short-attention spanned, entitled millennial Juul is simple and smooth with it’s lack of buttons, no liquid to manually refill and small light indicating battery life. For these reasons, it is quite evident why it was quickly dubbed as the ‘iPhone of e-cigarettes’.
Although there is growing scientific consensus that there is significantly less exposure to toxicants from e-cigarettes, there are still polarising views on whether it actually is less risky to smoke than a normal cigarette. Although e-cigarettes don’t contain the harmful carcinogens that traditional cigarettes do, they still contain a host of other harmful ingredients including an incredibly high amount of nicotine. The nicotine levels are especially alarming, making them addictive and stunting the brain development of adolescents.
The problem is that e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough to have extensive research on their health effects in comparison to cigarettes. Perhaps for this reason, it is worth it to attempt to limit the wide-spread nature of the Juul, at least until more scientific data can guide us in our lung cancer inducing habits.
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