Why Smoking a JUUL Is Not Healthier Than Smoking a Cigarette


When vaping first broke onto the scene, it gave long-time smokers hope. Suddenly, those who struggled to kick their habit for years had an option that was supposedly safer than smoking cigarettes. However, JUUL and other brands advertised their product as a cigarette alternative before the harmful effects of vaping began to emerge.

The CDC has reported 2,807 hospitalizations or deaths in the United States as of February 18, 2020. Classified as EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injury), these incidents include 68 deaths.

On June 23, 2022, the FDA issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) against JUUL Labs Inc. for all products the company was currently marketing in the United States. All JUUL products were ordered to be taken off the U.S. market, and JUUL Labs was prohibited from engaging in further marketing efforts or selling/distributing its products in the U.S.

On July 5, 2022, the FDA placed an administrative stay on the MDO against JUUL. Although JUUL is now allowed to market, sell, and distribute its products in the United States, healthcare professionals, legislators, and the general public have voiced concerns regarding the safety of the company’s products and all e-cigarettes.

The Problem with JUUL: It Started with Improper Marketing

JUUL, which captured nearly 70% of the $1.96 billion e-cigarette industry, has received a significant amount of criticism for its advertisement practices. The company has received criticism for creating an incredibly potent product and initially presenting it as a reasonable and safe alternative to smoking.

JUUL advertisements showed hip young adults enjoying exotic flavors of their product. Critics of the company have accused it of targeting teens in its advertising and hooking an entire generation on nicotine. Reports indicate that JUUL warned retailers about the addictive quality of its products but downplayed them in advertisements to consumers. Former employees of JUUL have revealed that the company researched ways to prevent users from being able to ingest too much of its product at once. JUUL did this out of concern over its nicotine potency. Yet, the product remained on shelves, and now serious concerns about the safety of JUUL must be addressed.

What Does Vaping Do to Your Lungs?

The effect that vaping has on the lungs is still under research. However, experts believe that contaminants in e-cigarette vapor are responsible for the various lung conditions users of vapes have begun to receive treatment for. Other possible causes of lung illness from vaping include irritation and allergic reactions to the chemicals found in vapors. The FDA and CDC are currently investigating cases of those currently with lung illnesses to understand how vaping may be involved.

Research Suggests Vaping Can Impact Your Heart's Health Negatively

Two studies have shown that e-cigarettes negatively affect cholesterol and the body’s efficiency at pumping blood. While not extensive enough to be conclusive, they mark yet another red flag raised by health professionals who are concerned about the prevalence of vaping in the nation.

The First Study

In one study, researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine studied the cholesterol levels of different types of people. Four groups were examined those who regularly used e-cigarettes, those who smoked regular cigarettes, those who used both types of products, and nonsmokers.

The Boston University researchers found that those who vaped had a higher level of LDL cholesterol. This type of cholesterol is harmful because it's associated with clogged arteries. Additionally, vapers were found to have low levels of HDL, the kind of cholesterol which “scavenges” on bad cholesterol and helps remove it from areas that it doesn’t belong.

In a comment to NBC News, Dr. Sana Majid said that “This is a snapshot of what is happening right now. There is a lot we still don’t know about electronic cigarettes. It’s going to take time for us to understand how e-cigarettes affect your heart health.”

The Second Study

The second study was smaller and focused on how smoking and vaping changed the heart's ability to pump blood. It measured pumping efficiency at rest and during exercise. Just like the first study, it examined a group of smokers, vapers, and those who don’t smoke or vape. Typically, blood flow is known to increase during exercise. When smokers exercise, their blood flow decreases but returns to normal during rest. However, researchers found one thing that was surprising: those who vaped had lowered blood flow during exercise and at rest.

"It’s evidence that there’s something wrong with the blood flow regulation in smokers and maybe even more so in e-cigarette smokers," said Dr. Florian Rader, an author of the study. "These products are marketed as healthy alternatives, and yet we see more and more evidence that they’re definitely not healthy.”

Other Health Risks Associated with Vaping

Vaping’s health concerns don’t stop at lung disease. Health experts have expressed concerns over the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes. Besides being highly addictive, nicotine can negatively impact brain development, making it especially harmful to teens and young adults. Nicotine’s qualities also make vaping while pregnant especially risky, as it can harm a developing fetus.

Other risks of vaping include the following:

  • An increased likelihood of smoking cigarettes in teens
  • Explosions and burns from defective devices
  • Nicotine poisoning

How Much Nicotine Is in a JUUL?

It can be dangerous to assume that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes because they use vapor instead of smoke. Inhaling smoke is not the only harmful aspect of cigarettes; nicotine is proven to have negative health impacts. JUUL products have 5% nicotine by volume, an amount which is twice as much as other e-cigarette brands. Recent studies have even found that nicotine increases the development of cancer in lab mice.

According to the CDC, JUUL is one of a few e-cigarette companies that use nicotine salts. These allow higher levels of nicotine to be inhaled with less irritation than free-base nicotine that is present in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. A single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.

So, Are JUULs Bad for You?

While evidence for the safety of Juuls and other e-cigarettes is not promising, researchers are still trying to understand how dangerous these products are. The best way to mitigate the problems associated with vaping is to stop doing it; an easier task said than done thanks to the highly addictive properties of Juul products. While vaping products initially burst into the market with promises of kicking the habit, they’re now hooking a new generation of nicotine users and ensuring that big tobacco might make it past the age of the cigarette.

If you believe that you’ve developed health problems because of a Juul or other e-cigarette product, call our Juul injury lawyers today. We’re ready to listen to your story and help you discover your options. Your consultation is free when you call us at (888) 498-3023.

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