E-cigarettes are typically battery-powered devices that heat a liquid (“juice”) that turns into an aerosol that teens inhale into their lungs. Until this point, vaping involved using a vaping pen, a small round device with a mouth piece on the end. But Juuling, as it’s popularly known, is much easier to hide. Juul is a sleek, rectangular vaporizing device that delivers a concentrated form of nicotine. It looks like a USB flash drive, and can even be plugged into a laptop to charge.
According to the Juul website, each cartridge contains 0.7 mL with 5 percent nicotine by weight. One Juul pod is equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes or 200 puffs. But the biggest draw for teens is that the pods come in fun flavors, such as cucumber, mango, and mint.
“While searching for my iPhone earbuds in my 16-year-old daughter’s bedside table, I came across a coin purse with tiny cartridges that look like a computer thumb drive. When Jane got home from school, I asked her what they were. “They’re Penelope’s,” Jane said. “I’m holding them for her.”
That seemed plausible. Penelope is a friend whose mom is very strict. But I still didn’t know what they were, and I thought: This can’t be good.
“What do you do with them?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Jane said.
Slowly, we got to the bottom of it. They were Juul pods, nicotine cartridges for the latest, trendy version of an e-cigarette.
“The whole school does it,” Jane said. “It’s not a big deal.”
Tobacco use among young people in the WHO European Region remains a public health concern. Despite the overall downward trend, several countries of the Region observed an increase in tobacco use prevalence among young people in the latest round of the Global Youth Tobacco Survey. While cigarettes remain the most used form of tobacco products, there is a concerning trend emerging from the use of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes).
According to the latest available data, young people are turning to these products at an alarming rate. The new report reveals that in some countries the rates of e-cigarette use among adolescents were much higher than those for conventional cigarettes. In Poland, for example, 15.3% of students smoked cigarettes and 23.4% used electronic cigarettes in 2016.
Some countries that monitor e-cigarette use among young people have shown marked increases over the years. In Italy the prevalence of current e-cigarette use increased from 8.4% in 2014 to 17.5% in 2018, in Georgia – from 5.7% in 2014 to 13.2% in 2017, while in Latvia it was 9.1% in 2011 and 18% in 2019.C