STANFORD, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The U.S. Surgeon General is calling vaping an epidemic among adolescents. More than 3.6 million U.S. teens, including one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students used e-cigarettes last year. Twenty-one percent of high school seniors vaped in the past month. And according to Stanford University researchers most kids don’t realize the very serious health risks they are facing.
Christian Hernandez knows you probably don’t approve of his Juul habit. That’s the popular e-cigarette that delivers a hefty dose of nicotine in kid-friendly flavors. However, Christian isn’t concerned, even after hearing the warnings.
Hernandez said, “II think about other things I could put in my body, I’d rather have just nicotine and or Juul than everything else.”
And that behavior is why Stanford University developmental psychologist, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD and Professor of Pediatrics worries teens don’t fully understand the true harm of Juul.
Halpern-Felsher explained, “This has about 41, 42 milligrams of nicotine per pod. So that’s equivalent to one to two packs of cigarettes.”
According to a new study by Halpern-Felsher, adolescents who use Juul do so more often than those who use other vaping devices.
“We also found that adolescents and young adults who were using Juuls reported being more addicted,” said Halpern-Felsher.
Junior, who wishes not to have his face shown, felt the effects of Juul quickly.
He said, “I got lightheaded at first. I just didn’t know what to do with myself for a cool minute or so, and then I just kept on taking more hits.”
Hernandez said, “My parents don’t really know what it is. They just think it’s a flash drive.”
Halpern-Felsher isn’t convinced that restricting sales will make a difference. She’s trying to reach kids before they start with a prevention toolkit.
“We have reached over 170,000 youths throughout the country,” Halpern-Felsher stated.
An impressive number but Hernandez warns, “I don’t see myself quitting vaping.”
While Juul maintains that its products are meant for adults only, Stanford researchers say they found a landmine of ads and social media posts that indicate otherwise.
Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Field Producer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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TOPIC: JUULING AND TEENS CONTROVERSY
REPORT: MB #4518
BACKGROUND: Juul, an e-cigarette system consisting of a pocket-size vaporizer and nicotine juice cartridges that can be swapped in and out, is now the best-selling e-cigarette in America. While most e-cigarettes use a type of nicotine called “free-base,” which passes quickly into the bloodstream when inhaled, the cartridges that Juul Labs sells, Juulpods, contain a concentrated juice cocktail of salts and organic acids found in tobacco leaves. This blend more closely resembles the experience of smoking a cigarette, according to Tyler Goldman, CEO of Juul Labs. Pax Labs received a patent for its nicotine-salt formulation in 2015. One million Juul systems have sold to date (in 2017). The vaporizer retails for $35, and a four-pack of pods costs $16.
CONTROVERSY: In November 2018, after the federal regulators declared youth vaping an epidemic and demanded action from companies, e-cigarette maker Juul announced its decision Tuesday to pull its flavored products from stores and remove its social media presence. Juul Labs, one of the largest e-cigarette manufacturers, will halt sales of its mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavored pods at more than 90,000 retail stores, and require additional age verification measures for online sales of the flavors, the company said. The company said it will also delete its Facebook and Instagram accounts and halt promotional posts on Twitter. “Our intent was never to have youth use Juul products. But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem. We must solve it,” Juul CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement.
NEW RESEARCH: Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine worked on a study to build an evidence base for perceptions of risk from and use of pod-based e-cigarettes among adolescents and young adults. This survey study of 445 adolescents and young adults revealed similar chances (40%) of experiencing negative health and social consequences from using pod-based and/or other types of e-cigarettes. Among 34 adolescents and young adults reporting any loss of autonomy from nicotine, there was no difference in mean Hooked On Nicotine Checklist scores between those using pod-based and other e-cigarettes. Increasing use of pod-based e-cigarettes among otherwise nicotine-naive adolescents and young adults could be associated with the absence of clear, consistent public health warnings and messaging targeting relevant aspects common to all types of e-cigarettes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Mia Brozovich Nacke, Media Relations/Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford
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