Initially advertised as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, Juul has been found to be tremendously addictive and harmful for its largely teenage consumers. Now, an alternative to the alternative has emerged.
Today, if you access Juul’s website and declare you are under 21, you will be redirected to a government site with information and help to quit smoking. On the other hand, if you agree to be age verified as over 21, you will be able to access Juul’s shop. But the assortment of flavors at your disposal will be nothing like what it was a few months ago.
On February 6, the FDA banned refillable e-cigarettes with flavors other than tobacco and menthol. Juul now offers only classic tobacco, menthol, and Virginia tobacco flavors.
However, the FDA ban does not affect disposable e-cigarettes.
The ban followed an outbreak of lung injuries connected to vaping. By September 2019, 2,500 people had been affected, and 55 had died. The median age of the victims is 24. Since the public became aware of the dangers of Juul and similar products, nicotine-addicted teens have been migrating to the likes of Puff Bar, Stig, and Fogg. These disposable vapes can still be marketed legally, and they offer some of the flavors former Juul enthusiasts miss, including mango, lychee, and mint.
Researchers tracking nicotine and vaping addiction in U.S. teenagers have noticed how Puff Bar has become the new hot e-cigarette at American high schools. Now, the question is, is Puff Bar safer than Juul?
Puff Bar Emerges
According to Mount Sinai tobacco researcher Dr. Karen Wilson, Puff Bars “are very accessible and seem to be the new buzzy product.” A paper published in November in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that about one in four high-school students in the U.S. is vaping regularly. This amounts to about five million teens who use flavored e-cigarettes at least once a month.
The nicotine content in Puff Bars far surpasses that of the average cigarette. While most severe cases of lung injury have been linked to refillable e-cigarettes used with vaping fluids containing THC, nicotine addiction poses many threats to the teenage brain. As traditional cigarettes have become less and less popular, the government is extremely concerned about the rate of nicotine addiction among teen vaping enthusiasts.
Following the refillable vapes ban, Puff Bar’s CEO announced the company would seek FDA approval for its products. Currently, Puff’s fruit-flavored vapes appear as “sold out” in its online store.
Umais Abubaker, CEO of Cool Clouds, Puff Bar’s distributor, recently told reporters that his company “looks forward to reintroducing the Puff Bar in the United States.”
Until the FDA approves Puff Bar products, we will remain in the dark about its purported safety. According to Matt Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the vaping industry has “figured out how to deliver more nicotine to young people than the cigarette manufacturers ever did.”
“Sit down with your young people,” Myers advises, “ to make sure they understand that these products are not safe and that they run a serious risk of an addiction.”
“I never thought anything could replace my addiction for a Juul,” a consumer recently commented online, “but here I am buying a new Puff Bar every 36 hours.” They are not alone. Puff Bar review videos often get 50,000 and 100,000 views on YouTube.
Delivering massive amounts of nicotine and not yet approved by the FDA, the Puff Bar hardly seems like a safe alternative to Juuls. Moreover, journalistic investigations have discovered that Puff Bar has shady origins, and it is as yet unclear who is behind the product.
When we thought the war against big tobacco was finally coming to a close, along came Juuls and Puff Bars. The manufacturers of these and other vaping products may be putting the lives of Americans at risk. If you or a loved one have been affected, contact us. My firm has fought cigarette manufacturers before (and won). We have a team of investigators and litigators ready to fight e-cigarette manufacturers on your behalf.