September is National Recovery Month.  As such, I thought it timely to write about a disturbing trend. The acronym “JUUL” stands for JUice USB Lighting in an e-cigarette.  JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that looks similar to a flash drive and can be charged in the USB port of a computer. JUULs is appealing to youth for a variety of reasons. Pods come in a variety of fruit and candy flavors, the devices can be difficult to distinguish from a real flash drive, and the vapor dissipates quickly instead of hanging in the air like a smoke trail.

The aerosol from e-cigarettes contains harmful substances such as nicotine, lead products and other cancer-causing agents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many youth are under the impression that ‘JUULing’ is safe and that these products don’t have nicotine, however, that is not the case. We need to educate health professionals, parents, and teachers about this trend, and e-cigarettes in general, because youth need to understand the dangers posed by JUULs and nicotine as well. A single JUUL cartridge allows for 200 puffs and contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.

Since studies have shown that 37 percent of 15- to 24-year-old JUUL users are uncertain whether the product contains nicotine and don’t consider JUUL to be a vaping device or an e-cigarette, they consider it safer. The sudden and widespread use of JUUL has put an entire generation of young people at risk of nicotine dependence. We must let our youth and young adults know that there is no safe form of tobacco.

With every best wish and kind regard,

Damien Cabezas, CEO, Horizon Behavioral