On our most recent podcast, our very own Dr. Devin Bowyer sits down with Dr. Stafford to talk about Jouling and E-Cigarettes. The discreet nature of these new nicotine delivery devices is a serious cause for concern among educators and parents.
Topics discussed in this episode:
What is “Juuling” / How do E-Cigarettes work
The form factor and how it can be easily hidden
What’s in it?
Physical and developmental affects/harms
How this is marketed towards young people
Differences with normal cigarettes
What parents can do
Learn more about E-cigarettes HERE.
Listen, read, watch! You can listen right here, or with a podcast app of your choice. You can also read the complete transcript below, or scroll to the bottom of this post for the video.
Dr. Stafford: All right. Hi, I'm Dr. Michelle Stafford here again with our podcast, Mixed Dentition. Today my guest star is Dr. Devin Boyer. Thanks for being here, Dr. Devin.
Dr. Devin: Absolutely. Okay.
Dr. Stafford: He is our main dentist at the teen office where we see preteens, teens, and the young at heart for you parents out there that have a nice youthful smile. You might be able to come see us too and have some fun. So, today we wanted to talk about Juuling and Juuls, which are e-cigarettes.
Dr. Devin: Correct.
Dr. Stafford: Correct?
Dr. Devin: Yes.
Dr. Stafford: Okay, so tell me what are Juuls?
Dr. Devin: Yeah, so Juuls are the new kind of fad for e-cigarettes. The Juul pretty much is a little USB type shape. It comes really ... I have one right here ... comes in a USB form right here and it's as simple as the person puts it up to their mouth and inhales and they get the effect of the nicotine immediately.
Dr. Stafford: That's amazing. And it's so tiny. That's just, it's scary how tiny it is. I mean, you're holding the USB port. For those people that are watching, it's like two inches.
Dr. Devin: Yeah, two, three inches.
Dr. Stafford: It's like two, two and a half inches. You could hide it in your hand. It's so tiny.
Dr. Devin: Yeah, hand, pocket, you pull it right out. So, it's become a real problem at schools, at middle schools, high schools, kind of all ages are starting to be able to have access to this because maybe a brother or someone in the household can buy it if they're over 21. And [crosstalk 00:00:01:37].
Dr. Stafford: Do you have to be 21, technically?
Dr. Devin: You have to be 21 to buy and I think the possession is, if you have it and you're under 18 that's a problem. But yeah, 21 is that age where you can buy it. So, if an older brother or someone has bought it or, I don't know if there's probably some sort of a black market, somebody has it at school. So, it's a real easy thing to pick up for kids of all ages these days.
Dr. Stafford: Yeah. And how young are kids doing this?
Dr. Devin: I mean, really, it can happen at any age, however they're starting to see it in middle schools, sixth, seventh, eighth grade.
Dr. Stafford: Gosh, that's scary.
Dr. Devin: And then it's really a big problem in high schools. One of the biggest problems is how easy you can hide it. You have it in your hand, you'd stick it up to your mouth, take it and then blow it into your elbow.
Dr. Stafford: Gosh.
Dr. Devin: And a teacher doesn't even know. You can be sitting right in front of your teacher.
Dr. Stafford: In class.
Dr. Devin: In class.
Dr. Stafford: Oh my gosh, that's scary.
Dr. Devin: And there's also becoming Juul parties in the bathrooms. So, everyone will kind of show up at a certain time, sit in the stalls or outside the stalls and just start smoking their Juuls.
Dr. Stafford: Wow.
Dr. Devin: Yeah, it's really become a really big thing.
Dr. Stafford: And what's inside the Juuls? Is it just nicotine or is it also marijuana? What's in there?
Dr. Devin: Yeah. Great question. It's quite a few things. However, the main Juul is going to have nicotine in it and not marijuana. There are e-cigarettes that are being shaped like the Juul in the USB form that do have marijuana inside. So, that is also definitely a risk, is that some people will be having marijuana and they can get high right there in school without anyone really even knowing.
Dr. Stafford: Gosh, that's crazy.
Dr. Devin: But the main things inside these Juuls are going to be nicotine, number one. There's other chemicals such as the flavoring. So, diacetyl is in there and that's been shown to cause harmful effects with your lungs longterm. That's in there. There's cancer causing particles inside there. There's still a lot of research that needs to be done on these. It's kind of just started, so longterm research is not there yet, but there's quite a few things that are leading scientists and researchers to believe that it's going to be a big problem for people's lungs and mental development as well.
Dr. Stafford: Right. Right. And why do you think they're so popular?
Dr. Devin: Honestly, I think that it's something that Juul, like the brand named Juul, has kind of taken advantage of the system and has kind of a little bit advertised towards the young crowd with the special flavorings-
Dr. Stafford: Right. Those flavors.
Dr. Devin: ... and the little USB that you can hide in a school and stuff like that. So, they've put out a lot of advertisement and it's become kind of the thing to do.
Dr. Stafford: Gosh, yeah, that's really scary for all of us parents I think. It's going to be something that we need to talk to our kids about for sure.
Dr. Devin: Definitely.
Dr. Stafford: And when we're talking about these Juuls versus the regular cigarettes, that we know aren't good for us, when we're talking about Juuling, is Juuling more harmful or is it about the same as cigarettes or where does that compare?
Dr. Devin: Cigarettes, since there's that true burning, it causes a lot of extra chemicals that go into your body that can cause cancer. However, the Juul is pretty much just as harmful to your body because while you take away that true burning chemical going into your body, you still have the nicotine, which is a big problem. We have the other chemicals, the flavorings, everything like that that doesn't necessarily come in the cigarette. So, it's just kind of trading one for the other and it's still bad for you.
Dr. Stafford: And is there a higher concentration of nicotine in Juuls?
Dr. Devin: Yes. Yes, so in nicotine, two things. Number one, it's got twice the amount of nicotine as most other e-cigarettes do.
Dr. Stafford: Oh, Juuling specifically has-
Dr. Devin: Juuling specifically.
Dr. Stafford: ... more nicotine than other-
Dr. Devin: Twice as much.
Dr. Stafford: Oh, wow. Than the others e-cigarettes.
Dr. Devin: And each Juul pod is what they call it, the little container of liquid, is equal to about 20 cigarettes.
Dr. Stafford: Oh my goodness. Which is a pack of cigarettes, right?
Dr. Devin: It's a pack of cigarettes. Exactly. So, it's the same if someone sits down and smokes a pod of Juul, it would be the same as smoking a whole a pack of cigarettes.
Dr. Stafford: Of cigarettes.
Dr. Devin: Obviously, you can get that nicotine overdose and too much of that a lot easier because it's a lot easier to smoke a Juul pod than it is to do 20 cigarettes in one sitting.
Dr. Stafford: Right. I think that might be the biggest misconception about the e-cigarettes is that people are trying to say they're safer.
Dr. Devin: Definitely.
Dr. Stafford: But that's not the case.
Dr. Devin: It's really not the case at all.
Dr. Stafford: Yeah. Especially if one Juul pod is equal to an entire pack of cigarettes.
Dr. Devin: Definitely. And one other thing is they're also doing ... The way that Juul has created the nicotine is they're making it as a nicotine salt, and this is actually different than the way that you can do it with cigarettes or other e-cigarettes. This allows your body to consume it easier and it doesn't cause as much problems with sore throat or things like that. So, you can sit there and do an entire Juul pack or pod in one sitting and not really feel the scratchiness in your throat or things like that. So, really they're just creating it to make it easier to do it over and over and over and as much as possible.
Dr. Stafford: Right. And with that, kids are getting more nicotine.
Dr. Devin: Definitely.
Dr. Stafford: They're getting more chemicals without really noticeable adverse effects?
Dr. Devin: Right. Without really noticing it. And one of the big things with nicotine is, is the nicotine causes harmful affects on development of your brain and your lungs. With your brain it affects the prefrontal cortex, and that's pretty much where your mood, your learning, your attention as well as like any cognitive behaviors are. It will decrease your ability to say no in the future. And it really affects the impulse control and things like that.
Dr. Stafford: Right. So, nicotine has a huge impact on developing-
Dr. Devin: Developing.
Dr. Stafford: ... brains.
Dr. Devin: Yep. And that's right where the biggest market is-
Dr. Stafford: And that's where they're marketing.
Dr. Devin: ... is right in high school, middle school, things like that.
Dr. Stafford: To our kids with their developing brains.
Dr. Devin: Exactly.
Dr. Stafford: So, for our parents out there and you know, as a parent, what can we do to educate our kids?
Dr. Devin: One of the biggest things is going to be having a conversation with your kids. Talk to them about ... Ask them the questions, "Are you smoking? Are you doing Juuls? Have you ever done it?" That's one of the biggest ways to kind of open up the discussion and the conversation. There are online, really helpful resources, like tips for how to engage with your teenager or your child on what's going on, are you using these? And telling them the harmful effects and what's really happening that they don't know about. You can find this on the CDC, the NationalHealthResearch.com. There's lots of resources that can help with you talking to your teenager.
Dr. Stafford: Great. And we'll list some of those resources on our website and link them to the podcast for parents that are interested. Well, that's a lot of information, Dr. Devin. As a parent, I can tell you, it scares me to think about ... My kids are young, but what's the next five, 10 years, if they can already hide this from teachers in class? I mean, that's pretty scary.
Dr. Devin: Definitely.
Dr. Stafford: And I imagine as a teacher too, that must be so frustrating-
Dr. Devin: Yeah, I'm sure.
Dr. Stafford: ... to not know what's happening in your classrooms.
Dr. Devin: Definitely.
Dr. Stafford: So, important that all of us parents really start talking to our kids more and get that message out there that we won't, we're not going to tolerate Juuling and hopefully we can stop these companies from advertising to our kids.
Dr. Devin: Yes, that would be nice.
Dr. Stafford: That would be nice. Thanks everyone for participating and Dr. Devin, thank you for sharing all this information.
Dr. Devin: [crosstalk 00:9:59].
Dr. Stafford: I think it's so important for us to be aware of what's going on with our teenagers, so thank you very much. And to all our listeners out there, remember, fill the world with smiles.