The Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service Has Bad News and Good News
The Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service has stated, “We must take aggressive steps to protect our children from these highly potent products that risk exposing a new generation of young people to nicotine. The bad news is that e-cigarette use has become an epidemic among our nation’s young people. However, the good news is that we know what works to effectively protect our kids from all forms of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes. We must now apply these strategies to e-cigarettes, including USB flash drive shaped products such as JUUL. To achieve success, we must work together, aligning and coordinating efforts across both old and new partners at the national, state, and local levels. Everyone can play an important role in protecting our nation’s young people from the risks of e-cigarettes.” (https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/surgeon-generals-advisory-on-e-cigarette-use-among-youth-2018.pdf).
Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. States that E-Cigarettes Are Not Safe
“Tobacco use among youth and young adults in any form, including e-cigarettes, is not safe. In recent years, e-cigarette use by youth and young adults has increased at an alarming rate. E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth in the United States.” (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/e-cigarettes/pdfs/2016_sgr_entire_report_508.pdf).
The Major Conclusions of the 2016 E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults Report (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/e-cigarettes/pdfs/2016_sgr_entire_report_508.pdf)
- E-cigarettes are a rapidly emerging and diversified product class. These devices typically deliver nicotine, flavorings, and other additives to users via an inhaled aerosol. These devices are referred to by a variety of names, including “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” and “tank systems.”
- E-cigarette use among youth and young adults has become a public health concern. In 2014, current use of e-cigarettes by young adults 18–24 years of age surpassed that of adults 25 years of age and older.
- E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes in 2014. E-cigarette use is strongly associated with the use of other tobacco products among youth and young adults, including combustible tobacco products.
- The use of products containing nicotine poses dangers to youth, pregnant women, and fetuses. The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including in e-cigarettes, is unsafe.
- E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful constituents, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain.
- E-cigarettes are marketed by promoting flavors and using a wide variety of media channels and approaches that have been used in the past for marketing conventional tobacco products to youth and young adults.
- Action can be taken at the national, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels to address e-cigarette use among youth and young adults. Actions could include incorporating e-cigarettes into smoke free policies, preventing access to e-cigarettes by youth, price and tax policies, retail licensure, regulation of e-cigarette marketing likely to attract youth, and educational initiatives targeting youth and young adults.
All of this news and talk is great… really it is. But when companies are making billions of dollars, they tend to want to increase, or at the very least maintain, that revenue. They tend not to care whether the products they manufacture and distribute cause harm. Regulatory laws, inconsequential fines, forced warning labels on products, and public education have little to no measurable effects in protecting the public. History proves that greedy companies run by unethical people will continue to cause disease and death as long as it is profitable to do so. We only need to look at what it takes to get the asbestos, tobacco, pesticide, and opioid corporations to change.
How does profit get affected? Civil lawsuits which can result in judgments of such magnitude that the “bottom line” is substantially lowered. One company, JUUL expects to hit $3.4 BILLION in revenue in 2019. “Juul Labs Inc. is expecting $3.4 billion in revenue this year, nearly triple its 2018 earnings.” (https://robbreport.com/lifestyle/news/juul-billions-profit-2842220/). JUUL makes money by caring about the well-being of the public, right? It pretty much says so right on their website. “We support reasonable regulation of nicotine products and comply with all relevant laws and regulations. We did not create JUUL to undermine years of effective tobacco control, and we do not want to see a new generation of smokers. We believe JUUL can accelerate cigarette displacement. We are committed to understanding JUUL’s performance and impact. Incorporating the latest research from leading scientists in the field drives our innovation.” (https://www.juul.com/our-responsibility).
Exactly What is a JUUL?
“JUUL devices heat up a cartridge containing oils to create vapor, which quickly dissolves into the air. The device is small enough to fit in a closed fist and has a sleek, tech-inspired design that resembles a USB flash drive. While its manufacturer says that JUUL is only for adults, it comes in flavors — including mint, mango and crème brulee — which are proven to appeal to young people and facilitate initiation of tobacco product use.” (https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/what-juul).
Each JUUL Has a Pack of Cigarette’s Worth of Nicotine and Other Stuff
A “single JUUL cartridge is roughly equal to a pack of cigarettes, or 200 cigarette puffs, according to the product website. Nicotine is an addictive chemical, and evidence suggests that nicotine use during adolescence and young adulthood has long-term impacts on brain development.” (https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/emerging-tobacco-products/what-juul). “The increased harm of juuls compared to other e-cigarettes is due to the concentration and contents of its juul pods. The e-liquid is 5% nicotine by volume, which is more than twice the concentration of nicotine in similar devices like the Blu e-cig cartridge (2.4% nicotine). This increases the risk of addiction; in fact, a study done by the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists showed that nicotine is about as addictive as cocaine and even more addictive than alcohol and barbiturates (anti-anxiety drugs).” (http://www.center4research.org/the-dangers-of-juuling/). It is pretty common to see people who have kicked recreational drugs smoking cigarettes. When you ask them why they still smoke after quitting cocaine or heroin, they answer that cigarettes are way more addictive. Oh, and in addition to nicotine, the liquid inside JUUL cartridges contains glycerol, propylene glycol, flavoring, and benzoic acid.
JUUL and New/Young Smokers
JUUL did not convert adult smokers looking to quit cigarettes into JUUL customers. JUUL acquired the lion’s share of the e-cigarette market by aggressively marketing its products to teens and children. JUUL engineers made their vape devices look like USB flash drives which allows high school and even middle school students to hide a JUUL in plain sight. “”I’d say that JUULing has really taken off due to the fact that it appears to be light and fun,” said Sean Christensen, a high school student from Towson, Maryland. “The flavors like creme brulee, mint and mango all contribute to the idea that JUULs are just toys that don’t have devastating effects on your body. Our generation has been educated on the danger of cigarettes, not on the dangers of JUULs. The fun flavors and lack of education means kids don’t associate JUULing with the dangers of smoking.” “The prevalence of JUULs has also been intensified due to marketing of JUULs to high schoolers. JUULs look like flash drives because kids must hide them. No adult needs to have a vape that looks like a flash drive; they don’t need to hide that,” Christensen added. “As of right now, 18-year-old seniors will legally buy JUULs and then take them to high school to sell to underclassmen. This creates a vicious cycle as the underclassmen get addicted, turn 18, and then become supplier that causes the cycle.”” (https://www.lung.org/about-us/blog/2018/06/juul-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing.html).
What Can a Civil Lawyer Do for a Person Who Has Suffered from a JUUL?
If you suffered a stroke, seizure, serious lung disease, miscarriage, delivered a baby suffering from birth defects, or suffered other catastrophic injury after using JUUL devices, or if your teenager has become addicted to JUUL vapes, contact a lawyer. It is our goal to help put an end to this crisis by helping the victims file civil lawsuits to recoup their losses. If you are located in the State of California and want help, please call Attorney and Physician Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. today for a free consultation.
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