Eureka Alert

A tobacco replacement to help grownups quit smoking has landed in the hands of children sucking on nicotine vapors to potentially harmful outcomes, new USC research shows.

The discreet little gadget called JUUL is little bigger than a pack of gum. Jon-Patrick Allem, research scientist at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, explores the intersection of social media and public health. His study of 80,000 tweets shows the JUUL vaporizer is widely used among high school, middle school and even elementary school students in the United States.

“We found young people talking about using JUUL on school grounds, in classrooms, in bathrooms, in the library, at recess and during gym,” Allem said. “JUUL vapors dissipate quickly, unlike the telltale cloud of previous e-cigarette ‘vaping’ devices, so it’s a way for kids to use nicotine undetected.”

Allem is lead author of the paper, which is a collaboration among scientists in USC’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Department of Computer Science. It was published in the June 26 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

JUUL is a brand name for a new type of e-cigarette developed by San Francisco-based PAX Labs, Inc. The device consists of a USB flash drive-powered


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