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The Generation that Almost Beat Smoking

By Nicole Pierick
On September 14, 2018

Photo by Bruna Pacheco

“Hey can I hit your vape?”

This question may be something you have often said or heard. Within the last couple years, a number of people have picked up a vape or a juul, acting as if they’re not really smoking. Why do these new ways of smoking appeal to millennials? Do these vape and juul users even know what they are putting into their body or the harm they are causing?

My general usage survey questioned 102 people with ages ranging from younger than 18 to older than 51. Of the people surveyed, 46% have tried a juul at least one time and 71% have tried a vape at least one time; 59% of the people surveyed have never touched a cigarette in their lives.

Vapes and juuls were designed to help smokers quit smoking. However, if you look at the percentages, more people have tried a vape or a juul than have tried a cigarette. A majority of 71% of the survey group stated that someone else had a vape or juul and they wanted to see what smoking with one was like. Typically, a student goes out and sees someone else with a vape or a juul and asks the person, “Can I hit your vape?” After trying it, they may go buy their own, and the cycle continues. Even worse, 72% of people who have ever tried cigarettes, vapes, juuls or cigars claim they’re not addicted. Studies show it takes 21 days to make something a habit, so if you’ve used one of these for 21 days, science says you’re addicted.

Smoking kills. We all know that. So why are vapes and juuls a thing? As I mentioned before, they were designed as a safer way for smokers to get a “buzz” without harming their bodies as much. It is true, vaping is less harmful than traditional smoking, but that doesn’t make it harmless. Vapes are just as addictive as traditional cigarettes and will eventually cause the same damage to your body.

An E-cig is the product of vaporizing a nicotine e-liquid solution to produce a large cloud of smoke. Some e-liquids contain diacetyl, a liquid flavoring with an intense buttery flavor. It is recommended that people who use vapes and juuls do not use flavors with diacetyl in them because they lead to “popcorn lung,” which basically creates holes in your lungs. Flavors such as mango, mint, cinnamon toast crunch and sour patch kids make these e-liquids so appealing. Companies produce these flavors to attract younger people to the taste and smell of the product, which leads to them to becoming addicted to different flavors without the smell of cigarette smoke. This lack of smoke leads people to believe they aren’t actually smoking.

Prolonged vaping and juuling is proven to lead to heart and lung disease. And, if this hasn’t convinced you to put down the juul yet, one juul pod is equal to smoking 20 cigarettes. Also, if used incorrectly, vapes can release formaldehyde into your body. So yes, if you juul or vape, you do smoke and you are doing harm to your body.

Vapes and juuls can be good for one thing, if used correctly. In the National Health review survey, 52% of vapers in the U.S. have successfully quit smoking. However, as mentioned before, more people have tried a vape or a juul and have never tried a cigarette. What it comes down to is this: If you don’t need to quit smoking, don’t use a vape or a juul. Smoking really does damage to your body, whether you admit it or not.

We were almost the generation to beat smoking until we decided to pick up these mods.

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