SPOKANE, Wash. - Smoking cigarettes isn't the 'cool' thing to do anymore, so for the most part, your kids shouldn't be addicted to nicotine.
Well, that is until they get their hands on a JUUL.
'Juuling' is the new wave as many teenagers, who never had a nicotine addiction, now do because it's the popular thing to do.
A study from the University of Washington showed JUUL's, among other vaping methods, are not only being used in high schools, but even by younger kids in middle school.
While it seems to be cleaner and less harmful than a cigarette, the nicotine in a JUUL or vape is still much worse than you think.
"It's a pesticide," pediatrician Dr. Beth Ebel said. "It works by altering the nervous system which is how it kills insects, and we've used it, refined it, concentrated it, and now we have a pure form of one of the most addictive substances' known."
Ebel said there was a real drop-off in youth smoking, but once JUUL's and other vape smoking came along, that drop-off went away with non-smokers suddenly picking up the new trend.
"Sold as something that's safer or an alternative to smoking, what it actually is, is a fantastic device for injecting your kid with an addictive pesticide that can set up a lifetime habit of addiction," Ebel said.
Juul responded to 4 News Now on Wednesday with the following statement:
"JUUL Labs, Inc exists to help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes, which remain the leading cause of preventable death around the world. JUUL is an alternative that can help the 34 million adults in this country who still smoke. We do not want non-nicotine users to buy JUUL products, and are committed to preventing underage access to our products. We strongly support raising the national minimum purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products to 21, and have implemented a comprehensive action plan to combat underage access, appeal, and use of JUUL products.
We stopped the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to our traditional retail store partners last year, enhanced our online age-verification, strengthened our retailer compliance and shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others. We also continue to develop technologies to further restrict underage access with our distributors, at retail establishments and as features of potential new products."
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