The JUUL, a smoking alternative to cigarettes, has found its way onto PLNU’s campus. Despite the ban of these vaping devices at PLNU, an unscientific study done by The Point Weekly has shown that students both own and actively use the JUUL. PLNU students report to use the JUUL because this smoking alternative is safer than cigarettes; however, safer doesn’t mean safe.
The JUUL website states, “JUUL Labs was founded with the goal of improving the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by providing them with an easy to use vapor alternative to combustible cigarettes, containing similar levels of nicotine.”
But adult smokers are not the only ones using this device. The JUUL is introducing young adults to the addictive chemical, nicotine, rather than solely weening adult smokers off of it. PLNU students are among these users.
“Abstinence from drugs, alcohol, smoking, and all forms of tobacco” is a requirement found in the PLNU Student Handbook. This includes the use of vaping devices such as the JUUL. The Point Weekly spoke with 60 on-campus students at PLNU and found that this is not a JUUL free campus.
Although 54 of the 60 PLNU students in the unscientific study said that they did not own a JUUL, 47 of those 60 students said they knew someone on campus that did. Almost half said they have tried JUUL-ing at least once.
Each JUULpod is comprised of a salt-based nicotine e-liquid formula, which is “0.7mL with 5% nicotine by weight (approx. 40 mg per pod based upon 59 mg/mL, ~ to the nicotine yield of a pack of cigarettes),” according to JUUL Labs, Inc.
When asked how often they smoke their JUUL, a PLNU student, who requested anonymity, said, “a couple times a day”; they go through about two and a half JUULpods a week – the equivalent of two and a half packs of cigarettes.
Another PLNU student who requested anonymity said they know upward of 30 students at the university that own and use their JUULs on campus.
The American Lung Association says, “There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.”
Cigarettes are dangerous, which is why JUUL Lab, Inc. encourages smokers to try their alternative. A JUUL can be a safer way to smoke for those who are addicted to nicotine.
However, JUUL Lab, Inc. says, “These alternatives contain nicotine, which has not been shown to cause cancer but can create dependency. We believe that these alternatives are not appropriate for people who do not already smoke.”