E-Cigarettes, Juul and Teens: The National Debate on Teen Nicotine Addiction

Last year, the National Public Radio (NPR) discussed a version of an e-cigarette that teens are becoming hooked on. Called JUUL, teens are finding that it’s allowing them to vape in class, as it can easily be hidden given its small size. A 2018 study published in the journal Pediatrics conducted surveys amongst 808 high school students and found that e-cigarettes use was associated with future cigarette use; youth are becoming increasingly hooked on these forms of “vape pens”, without truly knowing what they’re putting into their bodies.

Matt Murphy, a teenager in Massachusetts, was covered by The New York Times this year for having developed nicotine addiction from vaping. This teen became so dependent on his vape that he began to call it his “11th finger”. It was stated that one pod of JUUL’s flavored liquids is enough nicotine for an entire pack of cigarettes; yet the effects on teens are ever-more alarming considering their brain is still developing. Dr. Rachel Boykan, a clinical associate at the Stoney Brook University School of Medicine, stated, “Nicotine may disrupt the formation of circuits in the brain that control attention and learning.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still working to regulate these e-cigarettes, as more and more teens have become lured into vaping and smoking cigarettes because of it. Just how are teens getting these? Most teens are getting them from convenience stores and finding which ones they can go to where they won’t get carded.

Our youth are a time in their lives where they want to experiment and look “cool” in front of their friends. The only way we can really combat this is to create stricter regulations surrounding its use and to inform our teens just how dangerous these forms of nicotine can be. From there, we can help them seek the help they need.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.