- By Khin Maung Myint
In the old days we used to advise people to stop smoking; today we must advise them to stop vaping and juuling too. The reason – they are all hazardous to the health. Everyone knows what smoking is, only some know what vaping is, but most may not have heard of juuling. As for me though I had written an article on vaping a few years back, it was only a few days ago that I came to learn about “juuling”.
What are the differences between smoking, vaping and juuling.
Basically they are all the same – inhaling nicotine. The only difference is the way they are being done.
Smoking – The burning of tobacco that are rich in nicotine content releases the nicotine smoke. Inhaling that smoke is termed smoking. People use different ways of smoking: as cigars; cigarettes; with smoking pipes; with the use of water based smoking devices such as hookah that is mainly used in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and some European countries, and bamboo smoking pipes mainly used in China and some Asian countries. Whatever method may be used, it is to burn the tobacco and consume the nicotine smoke.
Vaping – It is inhaling of nicotine vaper, and thus it is termed vaping, a new word coined when the use of e-cigarettes became popular among the youths. Liquid nicotine is converted into vapour electronically inside the e-cigarette. When it first came into fashion in our country, youths and even middle aged persons – both male and female – probably from the affluent nouveau riche families were seen sharing one e-cigarette at a dining table that seat ten persons at various receptions. They were passing around one e-cigarette among the ten or so people seated at a table as though in a ritual.
Juuling – While vaping isn’t a new trend, teens in the U.S. do have a new word for it. Juuling, which essentially means vaping, was coined after the popularity of the Juul e-cigarette. Here, Juul is the brand name of that device. According to a report in Time magazine, they made up 33 per cent of the e-cigarette market in 2017. Although these e-cigarettes are intended to help adults quit smoking, teens are quickly getting their hands on them.
Are the e-cigarettes really safe?
The manufacturers who introduced the e-cigarretes claimed that they are safe, non-addictive and would even help smokers kick the bad habits of smoking. They are not true, but just marketing gimmicks. It had been proven beyond any doubt that they are hazardous to health. Today the truths are gradually emerging. They are no more safer than the hand rolled cigars, machine rolled cigarettes, smoking pipes or any other smoking devices that are used to burn tobacco to produce nicotine smoke.
From a layman’s point of view, the nicotine in any form – whether in it’s natural form as tobacco leaf or in liquid or crystal form will still maintain their potencies as addictive stuffs. The nicotine, whether smoked or vaped or juuled will pass through the smokers’ lungs. In doing so the nicotine’s toxic residues will surely be deposited in the lungs and could be harmful. Even those who chew tobacco will be exposed to the dangers of the nicotine. Therefore smoking, vaping or juuling are all addictive and pose dangers to health. I had also written about the adverse effects of nicotine consumptions in many articles on smoking and vaping some four or five years ago. These are my personal deductions based on my smoking experiences, but let us see what the experts have to say.
Experts said most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and no amount of nicotine is safe. Nicotine is very addictive and can harm children and teens’ developing brains. Using nicotine can cause problems with learning and attention and can lead to addiction. Even being around others who use e-cigarettes and breathing the cloud they exhale can expose youth to nicotine and chemicals that can be dangerous to their health. Though the manufacturers claimed that vaping will assist people to quit smoking, studies had shown otherwise. They said kids who vaped are more likely to use cigarettes or other tobacco products later in life.
A study released last year from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studied the vapors from 56 e-cigarette users and found hazardous levels of metals in them – including lead. These metals have been shown to cause cancers, lung and liver disease (among others) when inhaled. The Juul in particular was not thoroughly studied yet, but being in the category of e-cigarettes may be a cause for concern.
E-cigarettes are often marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. But they’re not safe. They still put an addictive drug and chemicals into your body and into the air around you. They are not a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Manufacturers claim that e-cigarettes don’t contain the harmful chemicals that cigarettes do. Of course, this is not true. Most devices contain nicotine. A JUUL pod contains either 3% or 5% nicotine. A Juul pod that contains 5% nicotine is equivalent to the amount of nicotine in one pack of cigarettes. Any time a smoker inhales nicotine, they are inhaling an addicting and harmful chemical, which is highly addictive.
The Center for Disease Control, a federal agency in the US had released a report of vaping related deaths. As recent as 6th September, there were five cases of such deaths already and about 152 patients are undergoing treatments for lung infections due to vaping. There were reports of law suits against the manufacturers of the Juul brand e-cigarettes by the victims who suffered lung infections and other juuling related ailments. Thus people should not take this issue lightly. Also there are other reports that vaping devices are not safe to use indoors as claimed by the manufacturers and distributors. These scary reports prompted me to write this article.
Based on the above mentioned facts related to e-cigarettes used in vaping or juuling, it is quite obvious that they are addictive and not safe. All claims by the producers of those devices are all myths and lack truth. My advice to the youths of today is not to fell prey to the false claims of the dealers of e-cigarettes that they are non-addictive and harmless. Tobacco or more precisely the nicotine present in it are always addictive and harmful in whatever way they are consumed – either by smoking vaping, juuling or chewing. Also many people sharing one e-cigarette as mentioned above is unhealthy, because germs from one person will be transmitted to the others. Just imagine what could happen with ten people putting the same device into their mouths by turn.
Although the trend of vaping or juuling had not caught up with our youths widely, we should start educating them the dangers of indulging in such habits. As the saying goes “It’s the old poison in a new bottle”, whatever you call it, it’s nicotine consumption. Let us kick those unhealthy bad habits of smoking, vaping, juuling or tobacco chewing once and for all. Nothing is impossible if you have a will and a strong determination.
What is juuling? The vaping trend that has some U.S. teens hooked. – By Arti Patel