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OPINION: It's time to put down the Juul

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TEENAGER VAPES WITH A JUUL, a popular e-cigarette. JUUL Labs is the largest retail e-cigarette brand in the US.

In 2019, it would be hard to not know what a Juul is, but until recently, the world did not exactly how harmful they are for people. The Juul is an e-cigarette, created to help smokers quit smoking. Due to the fact that a Juul is small and almost looks like a flash drive, underage teenagers and young adults were drawn to them. 

According to The National Center for Health Research, Juul makes up "68% of the $2 billion e-cigarette market." They also reported that "one Juul pod is the equivalent of smoking one pack of cigarettes." The amount of nicotine that the Juul exposes to people who were never addicted to it in the first place has gotten an entire generation to form a severe and harmful nicotine addiction. Due to the fact that people can use the Juul so discreetly and almost anywhere has gotten people hooked to their sweet and fruity flavors. 

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The government has moved to ban the fruity flavors from being sold in stores, but you can still purchase them online through the Juul website if you’re over the age of 21. In August and September of 2019, there have been six deaths tied to vaping.

 "If you or a loved one is vaping, please stop. The recent deaths across our country, combined with hundreds of reported lung injury cases continue to intensify" said Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the state health office in a statement after announcing the sixth death in our country relating to vapes.

So this is where the questions comes into play: is the Juul killing people and what can students do to quit? 

Before I came to the University of Arizona, I did not know what a Juul was. I had friends who had them my freshman year, but I always tried to avoid them as much as possible. I did not get the appeal of smoking them and spending a lot of money on Juul pods every week. 

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Then, I bought my first Juul. I quickly became addicted to it and I have been using it ever since. I have tried quitting, throwing out my Juul and Juul pods, but, eventually, I always go back to it. I know this to be true with other students at the university. The Juul at the UA has become a normal thing to have, so I did not think about the future health issues I will face from smoking it. 

I think the Juul is extremely harmful and is something that students on campus need to take more seriously. The number of deaths tied to vaping is low, but this is only the beginning of the discovery of what these devices are going to do to my generation. 

According to the UA Campus Health website, The UA has different programs offering to help students quit their nicotine and tobacco addiction. There are over-the-counter nicotine and tobacco cessations aids, which is available to be purchased without a prescriptions. 

If you are a student at the UA and are looking for ways to quit the Juul, I would recommend going into the Campus Health Center and looking at the resources the campus provides.


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