E-cigs come in many forms. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars, pipes and even normal everyday items including pens. Juuls, however, are more discreet, resembling a common USB drive.
Commonly referred to as e-cigs, e-hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, juuls, and mods are battery-operated, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) used to inhale an aerosol, which contains e-juice, also known as e-liquid. The e-juice in e-cigarettes can contain varying amounts of nicotine ranging from zero to upwards of 36 milligrams per milliliter.
Though there are over 450 different “types” of E-Cigarettes, they all work in a similar fashion. There are 4 components: a cartridge (which holds the e-juice), heating element (also known as an atomizer), a battery power source, and a mouthpiece. When the person puffs on the e-cigarette it activates the battery-powered heating device which then vaporizes the liquid allowing the user to inhale the aerosol or “vaper.”
Because of a juul’s sleek design, which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, there are very few “moving parts.” Users simply connect two pieces together. When the cartridge (or pod) containing the e-liquid is empty, users simply pull it out and slide in a new pod.
At 5 percent nicotine per volume or 59 mg/mL, one JUUL cartridge, or pod, is the equivalent of approximately one pack of cigarettes, or 200 puffs. Nicotine use during the teen years can actually rewire your brain making it easier to become addicted to other drugs. It impacts the development of the brain’s reward system making drugs such as Cocaine or Methamphetamine more pleasurable to a teen’s brain.
Long-lasting effects on cognitive brain development can also include difficulties concentrating, difficulties learning, difficulties with impulse control, attention and memory deficits, and behavioral health issues (specifically mood disorders).
As a parent/educator you have the power to influence decisions. When discussing vaping, do not lecture. Stay casual and ask them what they know. Debunk myths, keep the questions open-ended, stress that this is a decision not to be made “in the moment, and discuss the health risks and the possibility of addiction.
For more information about vaping, e-cigs, and juuls check out:
Electronic Cigarettes – What’s the Bottom Line?
An E-Cigarette Tip Sheet for Parents
How Can I Tell if My Child is Juuling or Vaping?
That USB Stick Might Be an E-Cigarette
E-Cigarettes Shaped Like USB Flash Drives