Experts warn new e-cigs look like flash drives
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Inside Cox's Spirit and Smoker's Outlet, they sell everything from traditional smokes to e-cigarettes.
"This is Juul, which is an e-cig," Chris Dubuque, the store's manager, explained to us.
When taking a closer look, the Juul and other brands like it look awfully similar to a flash drive. Many students use flash drives at school every day.
"Does not surprise me one little bit," Dubuque said. "Kids are very ingenious on trying to cover up anything."
The e-cig can be charged using a USB port, which could allow kids to conceal them from parents.
"I think it's deceptive," Ashley Webb, the director of the Kentucky Poison Control Center, said.
What concerns Webb most about e-cigs like this -- there's nothing on the device stating it contains something hazardous.
She's seen all sorts of side effects in small children ingesting the e-cig liquid.
"Ultimately a little pale or dizziness or vomiting are pretty common complaints we hear about," Webb said. "But with enough of an exposure, we expect to see a faster heart rate, potentially seizures, respiratory distress, coma, and even death."
Webb said parents need to keep up.
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"Be aware that that product exists and make sure that you're asking your kids questions," Webb said.
Juul Labs released the following statement:
JUUL Labs' mission is to eliminate cigarette smoking by offering existing adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. JUUL is not intended for anyone else. We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product.
Our goal is to further reduce the number of minors who possess or use tobacco products, including vapor products, and to find ways to keep young people from ever trying these products. We approach this with a combination of education, enforcement, technology and partnership with others who are focused on this issue, including lawmakers, educators and our business partners.
Nicotine is addictive. An individual who has not previously used nicotine products should not start, particularly youth. Recent science raises serious concerns about the adverse effect of nicotine on adolescent neurodevelopment.
We encourage parents to talk with their children about the dangers of nicotine. As a company we also continuously seek ways to contribute to this dialogue and knowledge base."
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