Don’t Get FUULed by JUUL

If you haven't yet, spend some time and listen to the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee Hearing on E-Cigarettes Part 1 and 2. Here are the links.

Doesn’t sound like fun? Well, you are wrong! It is worth the time and you will learn jaw dropping information about e-cigarettes, in particular Juul.

The Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthiheld, held the hearing “Examining JUUL’s Role in the Youth Nicotine Epidemic: Part I” on July 24, 2019 in Washington DC. Witnesses included Meredith Berkman, Co-founder of PAVe, Rae O’Leary, Public Health Analyst and Researcher of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Robert Jackler, Sewall Professor and Departmental Chair at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Dr. Raymond Niaura, from the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences College of Global Public Health at New York University.

The second hearing was held the following day and Juul executives got their turn. James Monsees, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, JUUL Labs, Inc. testified and answered questions. He was joined by Ashley Gould, Chief Administrative Officer, JUUL Labs, Inc., and Matt Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

The witnesses against Juul were all direct and to the point, well versed, and convincing with their testimonies. It is really unbelievable and appalling how Juul targeted kids and at risk minority populations such as the River Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. Juul had youth-oriented marketing for 3+ years and created the youth vaping epidemic we have today.

Juul knew very well what they were doing, they used tactics used by the tobacco industry and did this to increase its sales and bottom line by targeting kids and at risk minorities. They had the gaul to enter high schools under the guise of presenting an “Anti-Vaping curriculum” and told kids Juul was a “totally safe” product and showed teens their devices and how they work. Juul went into schools and showed kids the sleek, small, easy to conceal device used to vape fun, safe, and exciting sweet flavors. Juul also went into tribal lands and distributed free starter packs to the River Sioux Tribe and offered a guaranteed switching program that was safe and effective at helping people stop smoking. Tribal leaders asked for written documentation of the proposed switching program and this was never provided by Juul. Currently middle school native american youth are 3x more likely to Juul than their white counterparts. Juul knows who to target and how to do it in order to increase their profits and hook another generation to nicotine. They advertised to teens an easily accessible product, making Juul irresistible to teens with its cool stealth design and fun sweet flavors. Juul representatives visited high schools and told teens the FDA was about to confirm Juul was 99% safer than regular cigarettes and that it was going to get FDA approval, both of which were false statements. Juul produced a product that would be undetectable by adults and for years teens have been Juuling right under our noses without us noticing.

The fact is that after years of steady decline of regular cigarettes there is now a reversed course because of Juul. The fact is that Juul contains 3-6 times more nicotine than other e-cigarettes and are therefore very addictive. Juul also happens to have approximately 80% of the e-cigarette market share, and in 2017-2018 vaping increased in high schools by 78% in 1 year. Twenty percent of high school students now vape and most are Juuling. There was also a 48% rise in middle school students that use e-cigarettes. These numbers are only getting bigger and this epidemic is worsening every day.

Numbers don’t lie, for every 1 adult smoker that quits, 81 adolescents will start using e-cigarettes. These numbers are shocking and we need to take action now before we create a new generation addicted to nicotine. E-cigarettes are not safe, they not only contain high levels of nicotine, but also contain toxic carcinogenic chemicals and metal particles, that are being deposited in the developing lungs of teens.

We need to take action and stop tobacco companies and e-cigarette companies from preying on at risk populations. The following words from Ms. O’Leary, rang true to my heart.

The Iroquois 7 generation philosophy which states “that in every decision leaders must consider our descendants 7 generations into the future.” It’s time for us to consider our youth and our generations into the future.

We need to take action now! It’s #BackToSchoolNotBackToJuul. We need to ban flavors that are luring kids to start Juuling. We need to have funding provided by Juul to help teens get the treatment they need to overcome the addiction to nicotine they created.

Take action by joining PAVe, Parents Against Vaping and E-cigarettes and student organizations like Vaping-Attention To Prevention and Students Against Vaping and E-cigarettes (SAVe).

You can reach PAVe at

You can reach Vaping-Attention To Prevention at

Dr. Justine HenaoComment