Pick Your Poison: JUUL Pods or Romaine Lettuce

Photo by Daniel Sarché

Everything is trying to kill us nowadays. Whether it’s the unstable climate, ineffective gun laws, or constipation, which kills over 2,000 people per year, it seems that no one is safe. The two newest killers have invaded both our vegetable drawers and local 7-11s. 

Upon receiving my Chipotle bowl this past Sunday, I was heartbroken to find that it came without the refreshing and delicious lettuce that I love so dearly. I mean, what are the chances that every head of lettuce is infected with E. Coli? Technically, my chances of dying are much higher when I attempt to cross where the old crosswalks on campus used to be. 

Now, with the stress of not eating lettuce and dodging traffic behind Shove, many Colorado College students need their JUUL more than ever. Yet, this is suddenly bad for us? It’s not as if anyone ever assumed a mango pod was necessarily healthy, but it was never viewed as deadly as the mass shootings that happen in our country almost every day. A little nicotine to get through fourth week can’t hurt, right?

It was once said that the best things in life hurt the most, and this is no exception. With JUUL Labs having only existed since 2015, there is no research available on the long-term effects of usage, specifically within younger populations. There’s a chance it could be harmless, but there is no way to know that now. It also introduces a fierce nicotine addiction to those who would have never even considered touching a cigarette. 

Thinking back to the good ol’ days in the 50s and 60s when cigarette companies ruled the world, we now look back on this era with disgust. The cool, youth-targeted marketing is eerily similar to what the FDA just accused JUUL Labs of perpetrating. So why are so many health-conscious, gym-obsessed, vegans still JUULing?

The existentialist attitude of Gen Z and millenials makes for an interesting situation. If climate change is going to wipe us out soon anyway, then aren’t we here for a good time, not a long time? The JUUL, with its addictive qualities, is more than a Silly-Bandz fad. Without knowing what the future holds, many are reluctant to give up their source of stress relief after a day filled with political debates, slacklining, and procrastination, regardless of the effects.

The recall of the first-choice flavored pods won’t exactly stop anyone. However, this is a slippery slope to the eventual end of the USB e-cigarette. One day, as we sit down with our grandchildren in the distant future, we will be able to tell them of the great rise and fall of the JUUL, reminiscing on the faint crackle and lightheaded effects. It will become something of a mystery, a forgotten past, but hopefully, at this point, we’ll at least have our lettuce.

Josie Kritter

Josie Kritter

Josie, class of 2019, is a political science major from Culpeper, Va. She writes for the news and opinion sections of The Catalyst. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and scuba diving (which is unfortunately almost impossible in Colorado).
Josie Kritter

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