The truth about Juul e-cigarettes

Story by CBC Kids News • 2018-10-26 06:00

Teens don’t realize how addictive they are, researchers say

Many young people who use Juul e-cigarettes don’t seem to understand just how addictive they can be.

That’s according to a new study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

What are Juul e-cigarettes?

Juul e-cigarettes look like USB flash drives, but they contain liquid nicotine.

Nicotine is the same chemical found in traditional cigarettes, which are made with tobacco.

Sucking on an e-cigarette draws nicotine into the lungs.

This is sometimes called vaping.

Girl with long hair, acne and sparkly fingernails sucks on a Juul e-cigarette.

Most of the people surveyed said they believed Juul e-cigarettes were less addictive than traditional cigarettes, even though their habits showed signs of addiction. (Steven Senne/Canadian Press)

Critics say Juul e-cigarettes are designed to appeal to teens because they come in bright colours and a variety of flavours.

In Canada, it’s illegal to sell or give e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.

What does the new research show?

The researchers sent questionnaires to about 450 young people in California, both smokers and non-smokers.

Most of the people surveyed said they believed Juul e-cigarettes were less addictive than traditional cigarettes.

But their Juul smoking habits ended up showing signs of addiction.

White Juul package with colourful cover next to black device.

Bright colours and a variety of flavours are sometimes blamed for tempting teens to try Juul e-cigarettes. (Katie Nicholson/CBC)

The study’s lead author, Karma McKelvey, said e-cigarettes like these are particularly risky for teens.

“The earlier you’re exposed to nicotine,” she said, “the higher the likelihood that you’ll be addicted throughout your life.”

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