A new study that looked at nicotine exposure of adolescent e-cigarette users, specifically those who use the 'pod' vaping devices (ie, Juul), found that levels of urinary cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine metabolism, were even higher than what has been reported among adolescent cigarette smokers
The findings, published in the journal Tobacco Control, underscore the already growing concern among healthcare professionals and addiction experts that using this form of e-cigarette may lead to addiction and other health problems.
The study, conducted jointly by Stony Brook Children's Hospital and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, included more than 500 participants who answered an anonymous questionnaire about e-cigarette use; half of whom provided spot urine samples.
eBay was searched for JUUL-branded products sold by US vendors in March 2018, yielding a sample of 197 listings for devices and/or pods. Each listing was coded for product, listing and youth access content.
Following FDA action, each listing was revisited to determine its status, and each vendor’s page was searched for JUUL and other vaping content. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Of 197 eBay listings, 189 were for JUUL kits and 13 were for pods. Prices were on average higher than those on the official JUUL store, and language about age restrictions was rare.
Following FDA contact, most listings were no longer active. However, 3.4% of these vendors still sold JUUL devices or pods and 15.5% were selling other vaporizers or nicotine products.
Rachel Boykan, MD, Principal Investigator, and a pediatrician at Stony Brook Children's, emphasized that "the level of nicotine exposure found in our participants is alarming – it raises significant concerns about the risk of nicotine addiction and long term product use."