JUUL electronic cigarette products linked to cellular damage
Little is known about the potential health effects of JUUL e-cigarette products that have recently risen in popularity, especially among adolescents. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has a growing concern about this uptick in their use because these electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine -- a highly addictive stimulant, with potential to affect the still-developing adolescent brain.
A research team led by Prue Talbot, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of California, Riverside, and James F. Pankow, a professor of chemistry as well as civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University, Oregon, has now found that nicotine concentrations are higher in JUUL electronic cigarettes than in any of the hundreds of other electronic cigarette products the team analyzed.
"The nicotine concentrations are sufficiently high to be cytotoxic, or toxic to living cells, when tested in vitro with cultured respiratory system cells," said Talbot, the director of the UCR Stem Cell Center. "JUUL is the only electronic cigarette product we found with nicotine concentrations high enough to be toxic in standard cytotoxicity tests. A big concern is that its use will addict a new generation of adolescents to nicotine."