E-Cigarettes: Has Technology Advanced Too Far?

It is no secret that the creation of new technology has increased in recent years. There are now watches with touch screens, phones that you can unlock with your eyes, and cars that drive themselves. The present is starting to look more and more like the future we saw for our country in the 1980s when Marty McFly ventured beyond.

New technology has always been intended to make life better and easier. In 2003, the first e-cigarette was put on the market. Being yet another technological advancement, its purpose was to counteract the harmful effects of cigarettes. This product was deemed a reaction to the increase in lung cancer cases due to smoking. From that point on, tobacco cigarette use decreased, but the introduction of the e-cigarette may have brought forth a new range of problems, among teens in particular.

On June 1, 2015 PAX labs introduced the JUUL to the E-cigarette and vaporizer market. The allure of the product was the new type of e-liquid “juice” which contains “nicotine salts” Nicotine salts make the JUUL more closely resemble a cigarette, because, like a tobacco cigarette, it provides a more instant nicotine “high”. These salts create nearly the same concentration of nicotine in the blood as a traditional cigarette. Needless to say, individuals who were chained to their cigarette packs were intriuged by this product.

Who is this product truly meant for? Throughout my research I found only one answer to that question: current cigarette users. The JUUL is an “e-cigarette” but instead of tobacco, it contains vapor. For cigarette users looking to save their lungs the sputtering and harmful effect of tobacco, the JUUL is the best way to wean themselves off of their nasty habit. However, that does not make this product safe for everyone.

To reiterate, this product is meant for current cigarette users. JUULs contain almost the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette. Nicotine, regardless of what form it is in, it highly addictive. The drug is equated to heroin and cocaine in terms of addictive qualities. Not only is it addictive, but it has side effects of its own. There has been extensive research conducted that proves long term nicotine exposure starting at a young age leads to psychiatric mood disorders as well as attention and memory deficits later in life.

In past decades, cigarettes were a trend, a fashion statement, and seen as all-around cool. With that small fuming tobacco-stuffed cylinder between your fingers, you were unstoppable. From what I’ve read, e-cigarettes have the potential to have a similar– and similarly harmful–  impact on young adults.