Does Your Child JUUL (“jewel”) or PHIX (“fix”)? Here’s Why You Should Worry.

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Since 2011, there has been a gradual decrease in traditional cigarette smoking among middle school and high school students, as well as adults. This represents an all-time low. Yet the tobacco industry is still trying to get our youth and adults hooked on nicotine through various inhalation devices.

Two new nicotine delivery systems are posing real dangers to young people

Mason Gomberg, MD

Most likely, you’ve seen or heard about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) that have a very similar appearance to conventional cigarettes. However, there are two newer nicotine-laden products that are exploding in popularity with the preteen and teenage age groups: JUUL and PHIX.

These nicotine delivery devices are showing up in high school and colleges all over the country. Both come in a multitude of flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and cherry, as well as the more exotic Cool Mint, Fruit Medley, Virginia Tobacco and Creme Brulee, in an effort to lure young people. But instead of resembling a cigarette, these products replicate the appearance of a flash drive or memory stick.

They can also be disguised and customized with various designs to create an even greater allure for young people. Plus, they are sleek and compact, making them very easy to conceal.

What are the benefits that JUUL and PHIX promise?

Both of these nicotine delivery devices create an energy boost or a calming experience. They contain nicotine liquid which is vaporized and inhaled. The nicotine is replenished through nicotine “pods” and the devices can be recharged through a USB port.

Easy to get, easy to use

These products are easy to obtain and can be purchased through various stores or online (as long as a person verifies through a click that they are above the age of 21).

JUUL and PHIX marketing, in their own words:

Think that JUUL and PHIX aren’t targeting your kid(s) to use their products?

This wording comes straight from a JUUL website (I bolded some of the words):

There’s no doubt that JUUL is one of the most popular brands of e-cigarette on the market today. While a number of outstanding, similar products have emerged since the JUUL Vaporizer Starter Kit burst onto the scene, it still remains the benchmark for many when it comes to pod-based vaping.

That’s exactly why we proudly stock JUUL flavors and full starter kits here at Electric Tobacconist, and are constantly having to restock due to popular demand. This JUUL review takes a closer look at what you can expect when using the device — along with details of great new JUUL flavors you’ll love!

Pax Labs has made the JUUL e-cigarette so easy to use that it’s been called “the iPhone of e-cigarettes”. Just click a JUUL flavor pod into place when you are ready to vape, avoiding any hassle with refilling, leaks, or using an incorrect e-juice. To start vaping, you simply inhale on the device — no waiting around or pressing buttons needed.

The simplicity doesn’t stop there, either. Tap your JUUL e-cigarette twice to check the battery level, which is displayed by a small light on the vaporizer. Green means go, yellow means you’re about halfway through, and red means you’re about to run out of battery. To recharge your JUUL e-cigarette, use the magnetic USB charger which comes in the starter kit. In under an hour, your device will be fully charged and your JUUL flavors will be ready to vape. The simple, intuitive nature of the JUUL e-cig enables new vapers to get started in minutes. Accessible, stylish, and enjoyable — that’s what JUUL is all about.

The JUUL Vaporizer Starter Kit includes the following:

  • A rechargeable JUUL device
  • A magnetic USB charger
  • A multi 4-pack of JUUL flavor pods
  • A one-year device warranty

And this is from a PHIX website (again, I bolded some of the words):

Phix is an innovative choice for pod vapers or anyone looking to give pod vaping a go. It has been designed by Major League Vapers, a company that has been involved in the vaping community for years and involved in manufacture and product development since 2010. With a base in well-made and high-quality e-juices, Phix by MLV is an example of their innovation and move into hardware design and development. It is an assault on the pod vaping sector which is growing in popularity and is a fine example of how simply pod vaping can be.

Phix Starter Kit and Pod Flavors

The Phix E Cigarette Starter Kit by Major League Vapers is a pod vaping ‘pen style’ system, which features a truly closed loop system and a powerful 280 mAh battery. The kit has capacity for 1 x 1.5ml e-juice pod crafted specifically for the device and each pod offers around 400-450 puffs dependent on your usage. You can also expect around 200-220 puffs of the Phix after you have fully charged it, before it needs loading up again. The kit makes it easy to get started on your vape journey or make the move to pod vaping.

The e-juice pod range incorporates a choice of different flavors to suit all vapers. The flavors all offer a throat hit of 5% nicotine (50mg nicotine) and you can choose between spearmint, tobacco, ice tobacco and strawberry. Phix also offers a mixed pod refill pack so you can try the different flavors in the range.

What’s missing? Any mention of the harmful effects of nicotine, a very addictive drug

As a parent, and as a young person, you need to know that the practice of vaping, or JUULing, is not harmless. Nicotine is being delivered via these devices into the lungs, which is very damaging to developing brains.

These devices also contain other inert ingredients that are being inhaled that may include cancer-causing agents, respiratory irritants and heavy metals which are harmful to the body.

Consider this:

  • Each JUUL pod contains 0.7 ml of nicotine which is the equivalent of 20 cigarettes.
  • Each PHIX pod contains 1.7 ml of nicotine which is the equivalent of 2 packs of cigarettes.

These products are dangerous and your kids should be strongly discouraged from using them

Parents, schools and physicians have to be on the lookout for these products. Nicotine exposure in developing brains can lead to inattention, reduction of impulse control, mood disorders and cognitive deficits. At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we believe that we all need to take a proactive approach and discuss the dangers of these products when our children are ages 9-12 in order to prevent their initial use.

To learn more

For more information on the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes, you might find these articles helpful:

Important information and resources:

Concerned that your teen is smoking or vaping or might start soon? Come see us.

If you’re worried that your child is smoking or vaping, either tobacco cigarettes or e-cigarettes, or might start, please come in and see one of our Westchester Health Pediatrics pediatricians. Together, we’ll talk it out with you and your child, and together figure out the best way forward. If needed, we’ll also help your child find the right support network to stop smoking. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.

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By Mason Gomberg, MD, a practicing pediatrician with Westchester Health Pediatrics, member of Northwell Health Physician Partners

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About the Author: ML Ball