In August 2018, Israel made the decision to ban the import of Juul e-cigarettes. Juul, the device that looks like a USB drive, has made headlines for its excessive nicotine content and its reputation for being popular with teens.
Juul e-liquids have 59 milligrams of nicotine for every milliliter of liquid, far higher than the 6-30 milligrams found in other e-cig brands.
Although Juul claims that it markets its products to adult smokers who want to quit, their vaporizers have become incredibly popular among teens, particularly in the U.S. With e-liquid flavors like crème brûlée and mango, Juul makes its devices more appealing to teens and younger, even if they claim that it’s not their intention.
In the U.S., vaping among teens is especially common and becoming a growing concern. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2 million teens used electronic cigarettes in 2017. Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most popular tobacco product among middle and high school students, according to the CDC.
Juul said it planned to fight the ban, but the company is already facing plenty of scrutiny in its own home country.
It made sense for Israel to ban Juul’s devices. The higher nicotine content and appeal to teenagers makes their products a danger to Israelis. Israel’s decision is consistent with other restrictions in Europe.
In many parts of the world, vaping will land you in jail. In Thailand, for example, users could face up to ten years in prison for vaping. Many British Nationals have been arrested for simply having e-cigarettes in their possession.
But should Israel outright ban vaping like other countries have done? There are horror stories of babies dying after being exposed to vaping liquids. One 24-year old man died after his vaporizer exploded in his face. The safety and effects of vaping are still largely unknown.
On the other hand, there are stories of people who successfully used e-cigarettes to quit cigarettes.
Responsible vaping laws may actually help smokers quit cigarettes. An outright ban on vaping may just lead to more Israelis taking up cigarettes. We still don’t know the long-term effects of vaping, but we do know the long-term effects of cigarettes.
For adults who have a desire to quit cigarettes, vaping may be a practical solution.
We also know that, generally speaking, e-cigarettes are believed to be safer than traditional cigarettes. But they still contain nicotine, which is addictive and can hinder brain development.
Naturally, e-cigarettes shouldn’t get into the hands of children and teens, and there’s no reason to have the high nicotine levels found in Juul liquids. But adults who want to quit smoking for good may be able to benefit from e-cigarette devices.
Education has been the key to reducing the number of young smokers. Education will be the key to reducing the number of teens and children who vape. Honest and straightforward education about the dangers and unknowns of vaping may discourage many from picking up the habit.