Juul, the fruit-flavored e-cigarettes that have rapidly soared in popularity with consumers are now raising safety concerns among medical professionals. One study found that teens who used Juul e-cigarettes had higher levels of a probable carcinogen called acrylonitrile in their urine. According to a Bloomberg news report, these discreet e-cigarettes that look like USB flash drives are the most popular among teens. Teens interviewed by Bloomberg say these devices are becoming more and more ubiquitous on campus.
Juul first hit the market in mid-2015. Now, e-cigarette use among teens has exploded. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is expected to report this year that the number of teens in high school who were using an e-cigarette in 2018 is roughly 3 million, up more than 75 percent since last year’s National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the CDC. Juul has absolutely dominated the rapidly expanding e-cigarette market with more than 74 percent market share.
In September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a crackdown on e-cigarette companies giving Juul and four other e-cigarette manufacturers 60 days to present their plans to prevent youth access to these devices, or face regulatory consequences. A CDC survey from 2017 showed that 46.7 percent of kids who had tried an e-cigarette had never tried a traditional cigarette before. But what is most concerning about Juul e-cigarettes is that very little is known about what’s in these products.
Harmful Chemicals Found
The Teen Vaping Study, launched by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that teens who used Juul and other e-cigarettes had significantly higher levels of five chemicals in their urine than teens who did not use e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes. The five main chemicals that they found are shown to be cancer causing or thought to be cancer causing, either in humans or animals.
The same study also found that teens who reported using fruit-flavored e-cigarettes had significantly higher levels of acrylonitrile in their urine than teens who use other flavors. Acrylonitrile is classified by the EPA as a “probable human carcinogen.” Researchers also found that the fruit flavors actually produce more toxins than other flavors. The FDA has singled out e-cig flavoring as one of the drivers behind youth usage of the products.
The Need for Regulation
Our product defect lawyers have seen a number of cases where e-cigarettes have harmed young people’s health. There is also the danger of exploding e-cigarettes that leave individuals with serious burn injuries. It is about time federal agencies crack down on these rogue manufacturers and pass stringent regulations to prevent them from marketing and selling these products to our youth.