JUUL Controversy: Is the JUUL Bad for You?
JUUL’s recent explosion in popularity has brought a lot of controversy over our favorite little vape.
The media is salivating and ready to strike at the slightest tip that could shine a bad light on the JUUL.
From Popcorn Lung to unsubstantiated claims of lung cancer, there’s been a lot of misinformation circulating about how bad the JUUL is for your health.
All this has led many prospective JUULers to wonder: “Is the JUUL bad for you?”
Today, I plan to clear the air of some rumors and take an objective look at the effects this little pod-based vape has on us.
What’s the DEAL with Popcorn Lung?
First things first, I have to explain the nonsensical phenomenon that was the “Popcorn Lung Vape Scare”.
When researching for this post I got so TRIGGERED to learn the truth of the situation. I, like many others, heard about this popcorn lung thing in passing and didn’t take the time to really look into it.
I just said to myself: “Well, vapes may cause popcorn lung, but I’m sure it won’t happen to ME” and left it at that.
However, many did not reassure themselves in this way and took the viral articles to heart, suddenly believing vaporizers were the most dangerous thing to happen to humans since the black plague.
What even is Popcorn Lung?
Diacetyl was often used as a “buttery” flavoring agent in certain food products. “Popcorn lung” got its name when there was an incident in a popcorn factory that used diacetyl. A handful of workers at this factory acquired popcorn lung in a fairly short period of time.
After this finding, diacetyl was largely abandoned as a flavoring agent.
What’s all that got to do with Vaping?
In 2015, a Harvard study tested around 50 unique E-juice flavors. This study revealed that many of the vape juices contained a very small amount of diacetyl.
NOTE: The companies producing these E-juices were transparent about using diacetyl prior to this study, so it really wasn’t much of a discovery.
This was all the media needed to hear to start writing their devious, fear-inducing articles.
What these media companies failed to do was include about 90% of the relevant information to their claims.
Primarily the fact that past tobacco studies have shown that EACH cigarette contains on average about 70-100 times more diacetyl than a full tank of the E-juices in question.
Not to mention that there have been ZERO confirmed cases of popcorn lung in vapers OR smokers.
IN ADDITION, Most E-juice companies (JUUL Included) have entirely stopped using diacetyl in their recipes.
JUUL states it directly on their website: “As a policy, our development and manufacturing process does not add diacetyl and acetylproprionyl (or 2,3-pentanedione) as flavor ingredients.“
So essentially using a JUUL with official JUUL Pods gives you a 0% chance of developing popcorn lung.
Glad that’s out of the way. If you’d like to read more about this ridiculous abuse of media power, check out this article on Snopes: Vaping causes ‘Popcorn Lung’?
So… IS THE JUUL BAD FOR YOU OR NOT?!
Well, let’s start by making it perfectly clear that inhaling ANY foreign substance is going to do at least SOME damage to our lungs. These biological whoopee cushions were designed with one thing in mind: clean fresh air.
That being said, the JUUL is no more dangerous than any other vaporizers on the market. I know, I know, its hard to believe that it’s rise in popularity didn’t also increase JUUL health risks, but, well… science.
Even though vaping isn’t necessarily good for your health, almost ALL medical professionals agree that vaping is 95% safer than traditional tobacco smoking. Again, any harmful chemical found in E-cig vapor is found in MUCH higher quantities in cigarettes.
The only way I could conceive the JUUL being worse than smoking is in the nicotine department.
The Nicotine Situation
Although the information provided by past studies is messy and somewhat inconclusive, almost everyone agrees that nicotine is a highly addictive substance.
Because of this, the JUUL’s biggest threat to us is one of the mental variety: the threat of addiction.
The JUUL’s high nicotine concentration can cause users to develop an addiction, or even to worsen a pre-existing addiction.
There’s a simple solution to this conundrum, and one I refer to whenever talking with someone who is considering buying a JUUL:
If you aren’t already a smoker, DON’T buy a JUUL!
There is a high chance that you will acquire a nicotine dependency using the JUUL.
If you do smoke, but maybe not heavily, tread lightly. The JUUL can quickly have you consuming more nicotine than you did from smoking cigarettes.
NOTE: Consuming more nicotine may still be a healthier option than continuing to smoke, as the negative side effects of consuming nicotine are much less detrimental than the effects of smoking overall.
Even being a fairly heavy smoker myself (~one pack a day) I STILL have managed to increase my nicotine consumption by using the JUUL.
How does this Happen?
There’s a handful of reasons why JUULers tend to consume MORE nicotine than smokers:
- The JUUL’s ease of use
- The temptation to “chain-vape”
- High concentration E-juice
- The ability to use the JUUL secretly almost ANYWHERE:
Although all this sounds pretty bad, I actually think the JUUL’s high nicotine concentration is for the better.
The reason I believe this is because the high concentration of JUUL Pods is a big part of what makes it such a great smoking cessation aid.
I can tell you from experience, I’ve tried every type of vape available on my quest to quit smoking and the JUUL is the only one that has kept me away from cigarettes for over a year now.
The high concentration of nicotine also actually decreases the chances of chain vaping, as the level of nicotine desired can quickly be reached, and continuing to vape after this can lead to the unpleasant side effects that come with higher levels of nicotine in the bloodstream.
This reduces the overall amount of foreign substance inhaled, as opposed to low-nic vape mods, in which users often inhale more vapor, more often to satisfy their cravings.
As mentioned above, short of being dependent on a substance, nicotine consumption has few, if any negative side effects compared to inhaling all the chemicals present in tobacco smoke.
USING THE JUUL TO SAVE YOUR LUNGS
If JUULing is the only thing that has kept you off cigarettes, (as it has been for me and MANY others) than the JUUL is, in fact, doing you more good than harm.
However, I will repeat this: IF YOU DON’T ALREADY HAVE A NICOTINE ADDICTION DO NOT BUY A JUUL.
The JUUL is designed to be an alternative to smoking, a way for smokers to save there lungs and wallet from the evil that is big tobacco.
If your just the type who just bums a couple smokes while drinking on the weekends, you’re better off without a vaporizer entirely.
I hope this post has helped clear up some concerns and answered the question: “Is the JUUL bad for you?”
I truly think the JUUL is an amazing little device that has the power to end smoking for good.
Have a diacetyl-free day dear JUULers, we’ll see you soon
Did any of the information in this post surprise you? Did you fall victim to the “popcorn lung” trap set up by the media? (It’s ok, I did too) Any important points that I missed? Let me know in the comments section below!