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So we got wind of the recent crackdown of the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on minors who are engaged in using this all-in-one portable vaping device called Juul.
A Juul is a type of vaporizer almost the size of a USB stick which uses pods to contain the e-liquid that is then turned to vapor.
Apparently, the agency began issuing letters that serve as a warning to popular retailers such as 7-11, who are reportedly selling the device to underage customers. It was also announced that the FDA sent a query to the company Juul Labs, Inc. and requested an explanation on the ongoing complaints regarding their product.
Yet another craze?
Not so long ago there were incidents of teenagers filming themselves consuming Tide pods on a dare and now we have this. The same group of individuals who are now looking to get their hands on an alternative smoking device which aren't even smoking to begin with. It is one thing to be curious but to be stupid while being curious is another.
Why did it become popular to teenagers?
We think that what makes the Juul enticing to minors has something to do with the names of the flavors that were used in the pods and how they were described.
Flavors such as Crème Brulee which is a "Vanilla cake, silky custard and crème brulee" and Fruit medley that is comprised of "Peaches, grapes and berries with herbal notes" will definitely tickle one's taste buds.
For the new releases, like for instance the flavor described as 'pink frosted yellow cakes ' which they call "Pinkie" is something a minor might want to sample since it is resembles a particular spongy treat they are already familiar with. Or maybe because of the insufferable sound it makes when it is pronounced especially if the speaker elongates the last syllable that almost rhymes with another made up term 'cutie' which is also something that they are accustomed to use. Oh that sound.
The Juul starter kit comes with 4 different juice pods then there is even a 3rd party company that makes those pods that can be used in the device which also offers different flavors that are equally appealing to minors. Since this device come in a wide variation of flavors, these minors are presented with options that fuel their appetite even more. Once they get bored with one flavor, which most likely they would, they can just swap the pods to the next sort of fruity-with-a-hint-of-cake taste they prefer and repeat the cycle.
But little do this minors know is that a single Juul pod can carry 0.7mL of juice with 5% nicotine by weight, approximately equivalent to 1 pack of cigarettes or 200 puffs. Will they be bothered about this? Probably, for a while. But at the end of the day, what they really care about is how much watermelon they could taste in a single hit.
Another factor is that the device is just slightly larger than a USB stick which makes it easy to carry and conceal. Now to a minor, for something that is not intended for them to have is considered as portable is a great advantage. This means that they can be stealthy, they can carry it around or put it in their pockets without anyone noticing. But then again it is stealthy only if you are not using it. Try chucking a few puffs on that device and see if anyone would not notice the vapor coming out of your mouth. Unless of course they have found another orifice to which they can release the vapor which is quite fascinating.
All-in-one portable vape devices have become popular since they are easier to use than a complete vape set which is a mod, an atomizer and some batteries. It eliminates the need to check for your coil resistances and attach wicks since those in the pods are built in. You don't need to worry about which battery to use since it is also built in the device and can be directly charged from there. And this is exactly what encourages the minors.
Because Juul devices became so popular, it is readily available on retail stores which the minors have no problem getting into. There is no doubt that they are even requested to show some identification especially if the teenager is ready with the cash in hand. This will then lead to a domino effect that started with just one teenager which was passed to his friend then to the friend of his friend and so on.
How can we stop the cycle?
As cliché it might sound we believe that it starts at home. If the topic of smoking and its long term damages and the reason why people switch to vaping is explained thoroughly then there would be no problem. Because no amount of persuasion or influence can affect ones belief if it has a solid foundation. Don't use the argument that you are an edgy teenager who mommy doesn't love and wouldn't talk to because you know for a fact that what you are doing is not only wrong but stupid.
It would also help if retail stores would have a stricter policy when it comes to selling those type of products to underage customers. But then minors will argue and say that 'oh I can get it easily online' which again boils down to you being inept.