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Prevalence and reasons for JUUL use among college students

Previous research has shown that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among adolescents and emerging young adults. A new study investigated prevalence of use and reasons for using JUUL, a particularly popular e-cigarette brand.

This research was completed at a large U.S. university. A survey was administered to over 400 undergraduate students including questions regarding tobacco use, demographics, and reasons for initiating use of JUUL products.

The results indicated that 80% of the students were aware of JUUL, and 36% had ever used it. Nearly all of the use reported occurred between 2017-2018, which is consistent with the increase in marketing and social media presence of JUUL during that time. The most common reason for trying JUUL was curiosity, followed by use by friends, which is consistent with many other research projects focused on e-cigarette use in college populations. An interesting finding is that only 28% of current JUUL users report current e-cigarette use, suggesting that they do not consider JUUL to be an e-cigarette. This is concerning for many reasons, and proves that there is a need for JUUL-specific parameters in existing tobacco surveillance programs and intervention efforts targeted to young adult e-cigarette use.

Take Away: In a sample of college students, 36% had ever tried JUUL, with 21% using in the past 30 days. Only about a quarter of current users identified themselves as e-cigarette users, suggesting an urgent need for JUUL-specific prevention efforts.

Ickes, M., Hester, J.W., Wiggins, A.T., Rayens, M.K., Hahn, E.J., et al. (2019). Prevalence and reasons for JUUL use among college students. American College Health. doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2019.1577867.

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