JUUL fueled vaping crisis

January 28, 2020

The health crisis precipitated by vaping bloomed in 2019. A new study in JAMA Pediatrics looked at how e-cigarette use, and specifically JUUL-brand use, changed trends.

The health crisis precipitated by vaping bloomed in 2019, with 2668 hospitalizations as a result of e-cigarette product use-associated lung injury and 60 deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study in JAMA Pediatrics looked at how e-cigarette use, and specifically JUUL-brand use, changed trends.1

Data came from 2 longitudinal samples of adolescents and adults aged younger than 35 years from the Truth Longitudinal Cohort: wave 7 (N=14,379), collected from February 2018 to May 2018, and wave 8 (N=12,114), collected from February 2019 to May 2019. Each study participant was asked about his/her use of e-cigarettes, combustible tobacco products, and JUUL. Participants also were asked about household smoking status, friends’ e-cigarette use, sensation seeking, and harm perceptions, as well as general demographic information.

JUUL fueling e-cigarette epidemic in teens

The researchers found that between wave 7 and wave 8, the use of JUUL statistically significantly increased, both among ever users (6.0% [n=1105] to 13.5% [n=2111]; P<.001) as well as current users (3.3% [680] to 6.1% [993]; P<.001). Use of JUUL also increased in every age group and was highest among teenagers and young adults aged 18 to 20 years (23.9% [491] ever users and 12.8% [340] current users). Use also was very high in young adults aged 21 to 24 years (18.1% [360] ever users and 8.2% [207] current users). Wave 8 users also reported a higher prevalence of frequent use than wave 7 users (37.6% vs 26.1%; P<.01).

Researchers found that younger age, combustible tobacco use, lower harm perceptions, sensation seeking, and friends’ e-cigarette use were factors linked to future JUUL use among participants who were e-cigarette naïve.

The study concluded that JUUL has played a key role in the e-cigarette epidemic. Additionally, it pointed out the need for increased regulation of e-cigarettes across all levels of government.