Waushara County Health News

The newfound dangers of E-Cigarette and Juul use


Last July, the Waushara County Health Department discussed a new fad popular among the youth in the county: Juuling. Juuling is vaping with a handheld device called a Juul. Its design is similar to a USB flash drive. Juul works by inserting a Juulpod into the top of the device. A Juulpod is a cartridge containing clear liquids, nicotine salts, and flavor. The Juul has become especially popular among underage smokers and young adults.

Juul sales nationwide are booming. The company predicts it will make over $3 billion in 2019. That is nearly triple what it made last year. Last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tightened restrictions on e-liquids. The FDA targeted fruity flavors to try to end teen vaping. According to Stanford Medicine, “In 2018, the FDA restricted the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to adult-only venues.” There was one key exception: Tobacco, menthol, and mint flavors were not restricted. This is likely because these are traditional cigarette flavors; yet, Juul believes it will make a large profit.

Earlier this year, the FDA Commissioner stated that Juul use among teens has reached “epidemic levels.” In 2018, the Surgeon General said that e-cigarette use among youth has become an epidemic. Teens are sixteen times more likely to use Juul than people aged 25-34. The CDC says nearly five million underage youth used tobacco products in 2018. This is up from 3.6 million youth in 2017. These underage youth range from middle school to high school age. It is important that we discuss the more recently discovered dangers of Juul use.

There have been concerning findings connected to Juul use in new research. Researchers have discovered that e-cigarette flavorings damage blood vessel cells. The damage occurs even in the absence of nicotine. Damage to blood vessel cells can lead to heart disease. Cinnamon and menthol flavors were the most harmful. These flavors prevented the creation of new capillaries. Capillaries are the smallest form of blood vessels. All tested e-cigarette liquids, however, were found to be damaging. Some flavors caused the increased uptake of a bad form of cholesterol. This bad form is called LDL cholesterol. This causes increased inflammation. It also results in decreased ability to heal wounds. The results of this study suggest that e-cigarette use may increase heart disease risk.

Multiple studies have found that small amounts of metals are put into your body while vaping. These metals have a possibility of causing cancer. Studies have also shown that vaping can damage your reproductive system. The FDA also announced that e-cigarette use may lead to increased seizure risk.

Last year, the Waushara County Health Department wrote to inform the community about what juuling was. Now, they are writing to warn the community about the dangers associated with it. E-cigarettes are still ending up in the hands of children, who are becoming addicted. One year later, people know more about the dangers associated with e-cigarettes. It is up to parents and community members to be informed of the dangerous side-effects. People must also put into place solutions to protect children from life-long nicotine addiction and dependence.