AN ODE TO E-CIGARETTES.
By Jenny Griffin
All of a sudden, the Juul became a member of my friend group. I remember walking into a party in my hometown with my gazelle-esque friend Ally, with an outfit way too extra for the occasion, and a thing called a Juul. I had no idea how popular the “Apple of e-cigarettes” was going to make me that night.
Suddenly the vape clouds that I used to associate with the “XD” smily face became Olsen twin-chic. Everyone around wanted to try it, and I felt like the shit. The colloquial phrase, "Wanna smoke a butt,” transitioned into “Can I hit your Juul,” and the world’s just tumbled along with it ever since. My answer to the desperate question was always no. Having a Juul felt like belonging to an exclusive club; a speakeasy with a password that at the time, only Ally and I knew. For me, the Juul became the lovechild of a cool girl and an addictive personality. The snap crackle pop through the bathroom stall. Juul pods and s'mores melting under the hottest day in July.
The Juul was created by hotties Adam Bowen and James Monsees in 2015. The Standford design graduate students applied their knowledge of technology innovation and industrial design to create an e-cigarette product that revolutionized the industry as a whole. The JUUL is an OG snake. The wolf in sheep's clothing looks like a USB flash drive and is chargable by laptop. I even snuck mine on to a plane by wrapping it in headphones and calling it a day. I’m evil, and took a few hits on said plane, blowing the sticky Creme Brulee smoke right into my hoodie. Classy.
"All of a sudden, the Juul became a member of my friend group."
Although Juuls are for people over 21, they are constantly showing up in the media as “the e-cigarette for kids.” Every single article about the Juul was related to how they are showing up in high schools with teachers having no knowledge about the device. “Juuling,” a phrase "coined" by old people who definitely didn’t coin it, is just another *cue irrelevant high school principal voice* “millennial epidemic that parents need to be aware of.” Good luck, idiots. The younger generation has proven yet again that they are always three steps ahead. Even if those three steps are right off of a cliff into the abyss of nicotine addiction.
When you aren’t actually smoking a cigrette, it’s easy to forget that you are still taking in the same shit. Since the interchangable Juul pods (which I have paid for in quarters) include Mint, Creme Brulee, Fruit Medly, Tobacco, and the illustrious Mango, it’s exceptionally difficult to recognize that even though your smoke tastes like gelato, it’s just as bad as a Malboro Red. Dr. Lester Hartman of Westwood Mansfield Pediatrics says that “smoking one Juul pod is equal to an entire pack of cigarettes,” and that “the carcinogens in the device include propylene glycol, the same chemical as anti-freeze.”
Of course there has got to be a difference between the e-cigarette and the real thing right? Who knows. Just like with every medical thing ever, there is very little that determines if one is better for your body than the other. All I know is that I am on my 7th Juul. The stories of their death are pretty tragic (stolen from my hand on the train after bottomless brunch) but I sometimes wish I could just be done. For me, it’s become a security blanket. A token of coolness. A blase better than you. Whatever it is, I just know I have a negative bank account balance and three younger siblings trying to get their hands on a Juul.