Too JUUL for School: JUUL is Marketing Product to Teens

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Too JUUL for School: JUUL is Marketing Product to Teens

Elise Guerra, Feature Editor

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It’s just water vapor, all my friends are doing it, and it makes me look cool. It’s harmless, right? That’s what today’s teenagers are saying, and it’s hard to blame them. With the marketing strategies pushed on them from vapor companies, students don’t understand the dangers of “Juuling.” While they often deny it, companies’ portrayal of their products has created a false sense of safety around vaping and targets younger generations.

JUUL’s marketing strategies increase the psychological effects of who is enticed to vape. JUULing has been giving teenagers and adults a false sense of safety and the devices aren’t seen as dangerous as something like a joint or a cigarette, and therefore teens are much more likely to buy JUULs over those products or even traditional e-cigarettes. They don’t understand that just like traditional cigarettes, JUULs contain addictive substances and can cause things such as cancer, lungs collapsing, popcorn lung, etc. But it’s not just teens who don’t understand- according to an article by NPR, adults don’t believe that the exposure of vapor from JUULs is affecting their children in negative ways. 40% of adults surveyed by NPR believed that secondhand vapor had very minimal amounts of harm to their children. Teenagers whose parents vape are not only more likely to pick up the habit for themselves but also suffer the effects of second-hand vape because their parents don’t understand the consequences. Without the stigma surrounding smoking, the misconception that vaping is safer is harming thousands with no end in sight. JUULs are just as dangerous as cigarettes, if not more, and it’s important that both teenagers and adults understand the risks.

This outbreak of JUULing is similar to what happened in the early 20th century, cigarettes were invented in 1865 and became extremely popular during the 1940s. Smoking was pushed and was very openly advertised towards younger children. Cartoon characters like Joe Camel advertised to the younger generations showing how cool cigarettes were. It wasn’t till later in the century did people begin to understand how detrimental smoking was and by then it was so ingrained into society most still didn’t quit after. The same is happening in this generation with JUULs. They are advertised on social media platforms with influencers who push their products to the masses. Celebrities are also seen JUULing adding to the social acceptance and normality, it also leads to an increased chance of starting to smoke normal cigarettes in order to get a higher dose of nicotine.
Many people believe that the creation of vapes was to help people quit smoking when in reality there is no proof to back up this claim. Regardless of the fact that JUUL markets its products as a way for adult smokers to quit their addiction, it is more often used by young adults who then find it as a gateway to smoking cigarettes. This is just one clear example of how young adults are intrigued by the sleek design and various flavors that JUUL provides. Another effect of this marketing is that people don’t find the consequences of using a JUUL vape pen to be as bad as smoking cigarettes or even comparable to other vapes. We need to call JUULs what they are: a segway to smoking and in some ways worse than smoking. We can no longer allow people to be willfully ignorant of the harm they do to their bodies by using vape pens.

However, in 2009, the Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA control of the tobacco industry to help regulate the products and keep them away from children. Also, in 2009 there was a ban placed on flavors other than menthol being used in tobacco products to reduce the appeal to children. So it becomes apparent that if JUULs were truly only meant for adult smokers to quit, then it wouldn’t be marketed in a away that works against their cause as well. When a company makes so much money off a new generation getting hooked on their products, which will propel them to be consumers of other tobacco products later in life, they’re going to do anything they can to continue to have access to those people. This includes making excuses for their blatant targeting of today’s youth to encourage the purchase of JUUL products.

The younger generations are becoming more influenced by the company JUUL marketing products through the colorful appealing packaging and myths told about JUULs. Teenagers are mistaking these small electronic devices as harmless tools and an easy way to feel good without understanding the harmful chemicals and consequences that vaping really has. The psychology behind it proves that teenagers are only knowledgeable about the fact that cigarettes are dangerous where there is limited research about the possible effects vaping could have on a person. People need to be knowledgeable about how JUULs are addictive to younger generations; the same people that need to understand the negative impacts of them. It is up to us now to inform people about JUULs and the marketing behind it so younger generations are not as influenced to take part in the products.

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