"...all of my friends, like all of my best friends, are addicted to nicotine..."
JUUL is an e cigarette brand that currently has teens across America addicted to nicotine. JUUL was introduced to the market in 2015. It's sleek, and looks similar to a USB thumb drive. Because JUUL does not contain the burning tobacco that traditional cigarettes do, it was looked to as a safer alternative for adult smokers. However, because of the way JUUL has been marketed among youth, this device has led to what some call a "teen addiction crisis." According to Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, "E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous and dangerous trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we are seeing in youth and a resulting path to addiction must end."
According to an NBC News video:
1. JUUL appeals to underage kids, especially with its fruity flavors
2. JUULing leads kids to cigarette use
3. The high nicotine content makes JUULing highly addictive regardless of age
4. We don't yet know the long term health effects
Some believe that JUUL can be the harm-reduction "missing link" between prevention and addiction, but even if JUUL does not contain the harmful tobacco smoke traditional cigarettes do, we don't have enough research yet to know what long-term effects use can have. And the marketing of JUUL seems to be targeting young people--not always lifelong smokers. Founder of JUUL admitted in an interview that the advertising geared to youth was "probably not our best foot forward." He claims the product was meant to be used solely by "adult smokers" as a harm-reduction tool.
But for many people, a harm reduction strategy for lifelong smokers is not worth an entirely new generation of people addicted to nicotine. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner, "The FDA will not tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products."
A new generation of young people is dependant on nicotine because of these products. It is important to stand up for thoughtful advertising techniques that employ best practices, and encourage retailers not to promote or sell to minors.