According to a new study, Juul’s entrance into the e-cigarette marketplace in June 2015 caused other e-cigarette brands to increase their nicotine content to match or surpass Juul’s 59 mg/mL levels.
Juul created a patented nicotine salt technology that reduces the bitter taste of nicotine, allowing the company to add higher levels of nicotine to its vapes while maintaining a palatable flavor.
In an interview with INSIDER, a Juul representative said some e-cigarettes that existed before Juul already had high nicotine levels.
But Dr. Robert Jackler, lead author of the study, told INSIDER that based on his research the majority of pre-Juul era e-cigarettes had 1% to 2% nicotine per volume.
As e-cigarette use continues to skyrocket in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pointed to Juul, a popular e-cigarette brand, as a major contributor to the vaping epidemic, especially among teenagers, Business Insider previously reported. Now, a new study from Stanford University suggests Juul’s 59 mg/mL (5.9% by volume) nicotine products may have lead other e-cigarette companies to increase their nicotine content, starting a “nicotine arms race.”
“Following Juul’s lead, many purveyors of nicotine salt-based e-liquids offer nicotine concentrations at the 5%, 6%, and even 7% [per volume] level,” Dr. Robert Jackler, lead author of the study and a professor of head and neck surgery at Stanford University, wrote.
Jackler’s research team has been following the vaping industry for almost a decade and believes that “simply put, Juul transformed the market by more than doubling the nicotine concentration in the e-liquid consumer markets.”
More e-cigarette brands are selling devices with higher nicotine levels than in previous years, according to the study
For the study, Jackler and his team conducted an online search for Juul look-a-likes that offered more than 5% nicotine salt e-liquid by volume. Experts estimate that a 5% e-cigarette pod can deliver the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
They searched terms like “nicotine salts,” “high nicotine,” “nicotine e-liquid,” and “nicotine e-juice” to pinpoint these brands, and found that 14 brands were selling 15 types of Juul-compatible e-liquid pods that had nicotine concentrations as high as 6.5% by volume.
They also found 39 pod-based e-cigarettes, some which resembled Juul, that were introduced to the market after 2015. All of these devices were able to hold more than 0.7 mL of vape liquid, which is the capacity of Juul devices. In some cases, these “Juul-a-like” devices could hold up to 2 mL of vape liquid.
The additional capacity of these devices puts more nicotine at users’ disposal, which could, in turn, cause consumers to become dependent on nicotine. Nicotine dependence can lead to health problems like diabetes, infertility, teeth and gum disease, eye problems, and more, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Jackler’s team also found 71 American brands that sell vape liquids with high nicotine levels in bulk, which is defined as more than 30 mL of liquid. This makes it easy for consumers to obtain and use large quantities of nicotine at once, …read more
Source:: Business Insider