A new video has offered disturbing insight on the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers, or what they refer to as “juuling.”
The slang term is derived from Juul, the name of a trendy vaping pen that heats liquid nicotine that is then inhaled by users. Flavored pods are available for the pens, in varieties such as “cool mint” and “fruit medley.”
“You couldn’t be caught dead with a cigarette right now if you’re a teenager, but with juuling, it’s cool to Juul,” said Jack Waxman, 17, producer of the video.
Waxman, who lives in a New York City suburb, appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and said that juuling has become addictive to some teens in his community.
“These flavors are drawing them in and the nicotine is forcing them to stay,” Waxman said.
According to the Juul product website, the pen offers nicotine levels similar to that of a cigarette’s to satisfy smokers who are switching.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, an estimated three million adolescents in the United States currently use e-cigarettes, including those who never smoked cigarettes.
“Some of my friends have tried using cigarettes and it’s because they have been juuling, because they’re so used to juuling that they think it’s OK to use cigarettes,” one teen said in the video, a six-minute public service announcement released by Juulers Against Juul, an organization founded by Waxman.
Jack Solomon, 15, who is featured in the video, said, “I want to stop but the habit of juulig is just so intense.”
Scarsdale High School, where Waxman is a senior, told ABC News that it is aware of the trend among its students, contending that it “has turned out to be a growing problem.”
In a statement to ABC News, Juul noted that its product was made exclusively for adults seeking to quit smoking. The company also claimed that it intends to invest $30 million in independent research and youth and parent education.
“We cannot be more emphatic on this point: No young person or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL,” the statement read.
The Vapor Technology Association, a trade association whose purpose is to lobby for the vapor tech, e-cigarette and e-liquid industry, said it is also implementing initiatives to keep vapor products away from youth.
“The Vapor Technology Association has adopted comprehensive marketing standards to ensure that vapor products are kept away from youth,” said Tony Abboud, the association’s executive director. “We presented those standards to the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] in January of this year and have asked the FDA to step up enforcement efforts on marketing.”
Waxman recently voiced his concerns to the New York State legislature, and requested assistance from leaders.
“The more people that know about the problem, the more people can take action and from there we can really make change,” Waxman said.
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