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What is juuling? 5 things to know about concerning teen trend

Easy to hide, more addictive than heroin, you can buy it at the corner store — and kids are becoming hooked at an alarming rate. A dangerous trend on the rise. Consumer reporter Rachel Murray explains what parents need to look for during a SPECIAL REPORT on Monday, July 2, beginning at 5 p.m. on News Center 7.

A popular product in the e-cigarette market is getting kids addicted to nicotine fast, some health experts say.

The Juul, a small vape device that resembles a flash drive, can be charged in a laptop USB port. Juul uses an “intelligent heating mechanism that creates an aerosol and is engineered to minimize combustion,” according to the company’s website. Only adults ages 21 or older can buy Juul devices online, but in-person purchases can be made at 18 years old depending on state laws.

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Here are five things parents need to know about “juuling” and teens:

1. What’s the difference between a Juul device and JuulPod? 

The Juul device is a closed system vapor product. The JuulPod is the cartridge that clicks into the top of the Juul device, according to the company.

2. What is in a JuulPod?

“JUULpods contain a proprietary salt-based nicotine e-liquid formula, which is mixed under strict quality-controlled processes, and is intended to help satisfy smokers when transitioning from cigarettes,” according to the company. JuulPods contain Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, nicotine and Benzoic acid. The pods also contain naturally and artificial flavor that provide specific tastes for each pod.

Flavors include: Mango, Cool Cucumber, Creme Brulee, Fruit Medley, Cool Mint, Virginia Tobacco and Classic Tobacco.

3. How much nicotine is in a Juul cartridge or pod? 

Each JuulPod has about 200 puffs in it, and contains as much as an entire pack of cigarettes, Time reported. About 168,000 young people who used e-cigarette products went on to become smokers of regular cigarette, according to a recent study from Dartmouth University. About 2,075 adults used e-cigs to quit smoking in 2015, according to the study.

4. Are e-cigs and vapes safe?

The FDA has been studying the impact of e-cigs on public health. A report in 2018 found there is evidence that suggests that switching from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes reduces an individual user’s exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens. According to the Surgeon General, flavorants such as diacetyl are linked to serious lung disease and e-cigarettes can also contain heavy metals and volatile organic compounds. Young people can learn more about the risks here.

5. Is it really that popular? 

“Juuling” generated $224 million in retail sales from November 2016 to November 2017. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced in April that it would crack down on retail establishments selling e-cigarette products to teens.

“The troubling reality is that electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes have become wildly popular with kids. We understand, by all accounts, many of them may be using products that closely resemble a USB flash drive, have high levels of nicotine and emissions that are hard to see. These characteristics may facilitate youth use, by making the products more attractive to children and teens,” the FDA said in a statement.

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