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Juul Nic Drop Prompts More Debate

Juul has announced that it is reducing the strength of its pods – which has opened it up to more criticism.

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Juul is releasing pods with 40% less nicotine, in Mint and Virginia Tobacco flavours. The aim is to offer provide more choice to users and offer a way of scaling down nicotine use. Rather than greet this move, opponents to vaping have seized upon it as another reason to complain.

Steven H Kelder, PhD, the “Distinguished Professor in Spirituality and Healing” produced one of the most confused anti-vape yet written on Twitter: “JUUL announced a 3% e-cig pod, down from 5%. A step in right direction, but 3% nicotine is equivalent to ~30mg/dL of nicotine per pod; equivalent to nicotine content of ~ three packs of cigarettes. Still WAAAAAAAY too much for kids.  0% please.”

It’s difficult to know where to start with Kelder’s statement. Should we point out that his GCSE-level maths is wholly awry? Should we wonder if he is now advocating nic-free liquids for children? No, we’ll just quote Twitter user de vangrailmaaier: “He must be in homeopathy, the more you dilute it the stronger it becomes.”

Kelder’s concern is rooted in a belief that teen vapers are all non-smokers and thereby become addicted to vaping faster if juices contain higher levels of nicotine. This position runs contrary to the evidence that states only a fraction of vapers are teens – and the vast majority of them are smokers who have switched or are now dual-fuelling. But then following the evidence wouldn’t benefit his campaign funding.

The smoking rate in America continues to decline to unprecedented levels and all reasonable commentators attribute this to a growth in the number of people vaping. For reasons only known to themselves, self-proclaimed experts like Kelder are virulently opposed to electronic cigarettes.

While many successful vapers quickly progressed to advanced devices, many smokers met with failure when trying the entry-level offerings from tobacco companies. Juul entered this market and destroyed the opposition, transforming the face of the cigalike sector with a booming pod-based brand.

Frequent articles are now penned containing phrases such as “parents are freaking out about the Juul”, that they contain “lethal and addictive substances” and that vaping presents “a massive public-health disaster”. We have even reported on an assistant principal who claimed he has to see the school nurse because he was suffering from nicotine poisoning after touching a mod.

Hysteria, not facts, is driving the agenda and people like Kelder appear to be wholly ignorant of the ramifications of their opposition. Smokers are confused about the mixed messages they are receiving and millions are holding back from vaping instead as a result, with the knock back to their health this entails, and the demonising of Juul is making it more popular than ever. It’s reported, “there are now around four hundred Juul employees. The company is hiring so rapidly that about twenty new people show up every week at the all-hands meeting.”

Will the situation persist? Michael Siegel is quoted as saying: “I’m afraid that we will look back at this moment and see that we had this unbelievable discovery, this technology that had the potential to put the final nail in the coffin in cigarette smoking in this country—and because of this ideology that nicotine itself should be prohibited, that anything that looks like smoking is bad, we will squander this opportunity, and we’ll have gone back to where we were.”

Juul will be launching their range across Europe soon and will be TPD complaint. News regarding the lower nicotine products can be found here.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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