Juul pods, phix pods, vaping with or without nicotine, and electronic cigarettes. Have you tried any of these products yet? In middle and high schools all over the country, they are becoming increasingly popular with East Lyme being no exception. As a student here, it’s not found exactly shocking to find out someone vapes. From the ease of hiding the flash drive like devices, using them in the bathrooms, or simply outside of school these pods have much appeal. But are they really even a problem?
Now, I will not go as far to say if someone should or should not use them to start, I’ll just state the facts and then end on my opinion and you can decide whether or not it makes any sense for you to use the pods. Everyone is obviously entitled to their own choices.
It’s Super Popular
Now before that I claim there is a “problem” with teens using these devices, I want to make sure that is clear that there is indeed a growing rate of teens using the devices. As the graph shows the trends and increase in use are undeniable, and exponential over the past few years. And keep in mind these are only the self reported instances.
Juuling vs. Smoking
Many of these pods contain levels of nicotine that outside of being highly addictive, is well known for its health effects on adults, let alone for teenagers. In most cases one pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.
For many teens cigarettes often have a “gross” and negative connotation in people’s minds because of a variety of advertising and attention put towards educating kids about the dangers of cigarettes during the turn of the century, also known as the childhood of today’s teens.
At the time cigarettes were popular many did not realize the effects, until years later when they developed cancer, bad teeth, deteriorating skin, and a slew of other irreversible problems (source). 10 times the amount of people have died prematurely as a result of smoking, than all the casualties in both World Wars fought by the United States (source). People did not know that would happen, or else such a large segment of the population wouldn’t have done it (source).
What are the Effects of Juuling?
Juul pods, and e-cigarettes are new and we will not know all the effects until the future. It’s the people using them that are the test bunnies. Will they develop lung issues, become addicted, or develop cancer? Many people will, however, say history will not repeat itself, and these devices won’t have those effects.
Those people should know these devices have already been found to deliver cancer causing cells to the body and have been linked to a variety of other respiratory problems. Just because there is no tobacco or nicotine (for other devices) does not make it safe.
Is Nicotine Free Juuling Safe?
Others choose the nicotine free devices, but those are also no where near risk free. The levels of toxicity are high regardless. The absence of nicotine has nothing to do with levels of tar, carbon monoxide or other chemicals that will coat the lungs and over time cause cancer (source). Not to mention that the flavoring methods are meant for the stomach, not for one’s lungs. The totality of the consequences may still be unknown, but we already know these things are bad for you.
My point is not: come close to juuling one time and your life is over. My point is these things become addicting and the chances that you’ll do it more than once is likely. I am by no means saying any of these effects are guaranteed. It just doesn’t seem to be worth the risk.
Pros and Cons
Some feel it is necessary or worth it because of the 10 second head rush it gives as a stress reliever. This is done by increasing oxygen flow and adrenaline to the brain. But it is simply not worth the effects of relieving stress, when there variety of other healthier stress relieving choices. Claiming not to have a choice is just ignorant.
At the end of the day you health is your responsibility and if you think doing something that looks cool is worth possibly your life, or at the very least the state of your life, than that’s fine. Because I get that this, to the left, looks super cool and feels great:
As cool and great as that must feel, I just don’t think I’d be willing to risk this picture to do that. But that is just my opinion, as I realize some people might think that 10 seconds is totally worth it. Is this picture a guarantee? No. Is it a definite risk? Absolutely. (source)
What About Moderation?
Some only use in “moderation”, but the truth is if one pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes and you use one pod a month, the effects are still detrimental. Also we need to take into consideration, that these are not meant for teens for a reason. A pod a month is bad for adults, but for teens these effects are just terrible for the minds of developing teens.
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Dick”
Now others don’t care about the health effects, and fall into the “I dont think I’ll live past thirty anyway” category. But the effects may not kill you, just make life suck. This truth ad titled, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Dick” should give you an idea of other possible effects.
The fact is the “truth ads” everyone thinks work so well for cigarettes, may very well be about people who used these juul pods or other electronic cigarette methods in their youth. The ingredients, even without tobacco or nicotine are not that different.
Most people would never even consider steroids for similar reasons as the ad. Juuling and smoking builds layers that can clog arteries leaving similar effects.
What You Are Really Paying For
At the end of the day you are paying about 40 or 50 dollars when you buy juul pods. All the risks, sacrifices, and consequences are also being paid whether you realize it and want to accept it or not.
However for some all these consequences might seem like chump change. It might seem completely worth a relaxing night or doing some awesome looking smoke tricks.
Who Cares About the Effects?
Some like to argue they are living in the now, and ignore the probable effects. If you are aware of all of the possible and guaranteed effects of these devices, and still are completely comfortable than you must not value or your life or health very much. There are a ton all over the world who would do anything to walk, or see, or to be able to live the healthy lives we are lucky to live in this country or other places. If you’re willing to just throw your health away like it’s nothing, than you don’t understand how lucky you are.
But I get it: it feels cool to juul. And it’s completely fine to juul. If you’re okay with cancer and a slew of other probable health outcomes in exchange for a temporary feeling then yes why not? If you don’t value the health you were gifted with, that many other people can only wish they had, then yes it is completely fine.
I tried to keep this factual, by sticking to the factual effects. But even if you don’t value the facts about its effects your own health, keep in mind your parents and the sacrifices they make for you everyday. Is it really worth disappointing the people who only want what’s best for you?
Things That Really Matter
Are you worried about an upcoming test? A project that’s due next week? How you’re going to do in your next lacrosse game? Which college you’re going to go to? Sad you didn’t get into your top school? People act like messing these things up will ruin their lives. But the truth is you will walk away from any of these alive and well. Can you say the same thing about juuling?