Although e-cigarettes started as a way to fend off real cigarettes, they've now become more popular and potent than cigarettes. New flavors, new devices and new "vape tricks, bro" have taken e-cigarettes. What was once a cool new way to stop smoking cigarettes has now become an embarrassing excuse for nicotine addiction.
If you're reading this article you probably know what a Juul is. You've probably been talking to someone and have them pull out a sleek little device and take a few inhales of it before putting it back in their pocket. If you were around them from an extended period of time, say, a few hours, you probably watched them do this many times, getting their fix of nicotine several times an hour.
It doesn't smell as bad as a cigarette, and research shows it's not as unhealthy as a cigarette, so what's the problem?
The problem is that nicotine addiction is a sad and dangerous dependence on a substance not needed by the human body. Medical News Today claims that nicotine addiction is at least as hard to quit as heroin. Although nicotine by itself isn't as objectively dangerous to your health as normal cigarettes are, why would you want to be hooked on something that is so hard to give up?
A hit of nicotine releases several neurotransmitters in the brain, which make the user feel good: mainly adrenaline and dopamine, which provide a kick and a pleasurable sensation in the body. Naturally, we all do things that put us on a path toward releasing these brain chemicals naturally, like eating a good meal, working out, having an engaging conversation, doing well on a test, drinking alcohol, having sex… all of these things release dopamine, and I'm not arguing that you should stop doing any of those things. In fact, I don't blame Juulers for having a Juul. It's natural to want to have direct access to that release of dopamine. Whenever you want, you take a quick hit and you feel a little better.
The issue is that once someone starts to use this medium to feel better, it becomes a pillar of how they make themselves feel better. All of a sudden, the body will crave that kick of adrenaline and a quick surge of dopamine that nothing else satisfies the way that nicotine does. Out of all the things to enjoy doing, why enjoy inhaling nicotine?
Juuling puts you in a position where you can't control your emotions without nicotine. The ups and downs of your mood are regulated by a chemical not naturally produced in your body,you're your mental health will suffer for it.
Juuling was a sleek little device to solve the problem of nicotine addiction and get people off cigarettes. Although the use of cigarettes has dramatically declined, the use of electronic cigarettes has skyrocketed, and now more middle and high schoolers than ever are hooked on nicotine.
Just because your nicotine addiction is disguised by small devices and cool vape tricks don't make it any cooler. In fact, it's embarrassing, and you're making us all look bad.