A slim, USB-chargeable e-cigarette, available in flavors like "Crème Brulée" and "Cool Cucumber". The Juul has quickly become one of the most popular products among teenagers and young adults.
While experts, parents and teachers say they are worried about the trend, young adults may miss one of the key reasons why a new study was published in the journal Tobacco Control.
Only a minority of young people who knew or had Juul knew that it contains the addictive stimulant nicotine, according to the study.
The findings should reinforce the fears of experts that young adults become addicted to nicotine and may turn to cigarettes.
The use of e-cigarettes in young people in the US has increased in recent years, although smoking rates have declined.
However, there are reservations about recent results, in particular that the relevant subgroups are rather small.
Out of around 1,000 people aged 15 to 24 who were interviewed, 25% – or about 250 people – said they recognized Juul, the study found recently. Of these, only 25% knew that all the flavors of Juul contain nicotine.
Only 8% of the sample, or about 80 people, said that they had used a Juul in the past month; 37% of these people said they knew all the flavors of Juul have nicotine. The brand's eight flavors range from "fruit medley" and "classic menthol" to "classic tobacco" to "Virginia tobacco"
(Respondents were recruited via the Qualtrics platform and were given an incentive to participate.) The study This all contradicts both the facts and the Juul marketing, which states that all flavored capsules of the product contain nicotine, the authors of the study stated at the Schroeder Institute at the nonprofit Antimoking -initiative "Truth" work.
A press spokesperson for Juul Labs said, "We can not comment on the results, and Juul Labs is committed to raising awareness of the dangers of nicotine use among adolescents."
"We condemn the use of our products by minors," said Juul Labs. "No minor – or no nicotine user – should be in possession of Juul, and in fact, on our leaflet, we clearly state that Juul is only suitable for adult smokers and contains nicotine."
A Juul pad is about the same a pack of cigarettes when it comes to nicotine strength and the number of puffs. The device also provides about twice the amount of nicotine as other e-cigarettes.
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But Juul's maker, Juul Labs, describes the product as adult smoker looking for one Change; The company has set itself the goal of eliminating cigarettes.
Juul products are only to be sold to individuals who are 18 years or older, and the company says that it works to prevent minors by limiting its sale to 21 and more on its website.
The recent study also questioned whether Juul is used as well as other e-cigarettes. 80% of respondents who have ever used the device said they used it in the past month.
"This finding suggests that the majority of Juul users do not experiment with the device, but use it regularly," the study said.
See: Reynolds can no longer refer to his cigarettes as "natural"
There are also questions about whether tobacco studies capture the full extent of Juul usage, so the survey surveyed had a strong brand identification ,
The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates tobacco products, has not announced any action against the Juul. The regulator has delayed actions that would have required FDA approval for many e-cigarettes over the past year.
To make matters worse, smokers can use e-cigarettes to help stop smoking, authorities say.
See: E-cigarette laws make more young people smoke actual cigarettes and Why e-cigarette advertising can encourage smokers to quit
The change may come with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's concerns in the Last month on the use of juul and other e-cigarettes among young adults.
"We see what happens to Juul," said Gottlieb at the CNBC Healthy Returns conference in New York City. "That's why we're going to appeal to things like flavors, so you'll very soon take some enforcement action against some products that we think are inappropriately marketed for children, and we'll continue to work hard because no child uses a tobacco product should. "
Other companies that produce e-cigarettes are the Altria Group
and British American Tobacco