Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in America, killing 500,000 people each year. Vaping claims to be a safer alternative and with 72% of all vapes sold, being the sleek new Juul vapes, what exactly is the difference between smoking and juuling? Smoking a cigarette involves a narrow cylinder of paper filled with tobacco. The filter is made of hairlike fibers meant to trap some of the bad smoke. Unfortunately, one study found smoking with the filter actually made people inhale harder, pulling in more harmful chemicals. A Juul is an electronic cigarette designed to look like a flash drive and is charged in a USB port. It has two components: one contains the battery and the system that regulates the temperature; the other is a cartridge full of an E-liquid which also acts as the mouthpiece. These are called Juul pods and can be switched out or replaced when they are empty. In Canada for example, a single pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs around $13 which consists of 20 cigarettes A Juul pod, which has similar nicotine content to a pack of cigarettes cost $16 and gives you roughly 200 puffs. Therefore Juuling is more expensive, but as are most things that claim to be healthier. So let’s get into what is in a cigarette versus a jewel pod. The main ingredient in cigarettes is cured tobacco leaves, but also recycled stems, stocks, and floor sweepings known as sheet. Tobacco companies have added hundreds of ingredients to improve taste, decrease harshness, and increase absorption. Some examples are sugars for taste, menthol to numb the throat, and ammonia to increase nicotine absorption in your lungs. Studies show that depending on the cigarette there are either hundreds to thousands of ingredients of which many are proven to cause cancer. Cigarettes involve combustion and burn at a temperature between 400 to 700 degrees Celsius. Meaning you inhale carbon monoxide, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, and nitric oxide. All of which are dangerous toxins. Juuling, on the other hand, does not involve consumption of the tobacco plant. The creators of Juul found that by adding benzoic acid to just the nicotine salts in tobacco, they could mimic a cigarettes rapid nicotine delivery. Unlike cigarettes, Juul E-liquid only consists of five ingredients which are benzoic acid, a nicotine solution glycerol, propylene glycol, and food-grade flavoring. Other vape companies may use the chemical diacetyl for flavoring, which can cause dangerous lung inflammation. But Juul makes a point to not include this chemical The temperature needs to be at least 150 degrees Celsius to create an inhalable aerosol. Therefore, there is no combustion reaction, which means decreased toxins. For now, science says that drooling is healthier than smoking. But they both involve consumption of a similar amount of a mind-altering drug. Whether you smoke or Juul you are inhaling nicotine into your chest where it passes through the thin membrane of your lungs and into your bloodstream. From there, the nicotine is carried to the brain and within seconds, it binds to neurons in the reward pathway of your brain. This is the part of the brain that evolved to make you feel good after doing biologically important things like eating, or exercising. The inhaled nicotine cheats the system by fitting right into the receptors in this pathway, causing the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This causes the cigarette you smoked or the Juul you vaped to make you feel good, satisfied, and happy. Nicotine can wake you up if sleepy or calm you down if stressed. So, it is no wonder nicotine is extremely addictive. The popularity of Juuling amongst young people means less are smoking cigarettes. Which some Epidemiologists think is a good thing. However, Juuling is also very new which means there is no long-term studies to uncover any hidden negative effects. The best thing you can do right now for your health is to skip nicotine products all together. If you want to know even more about Juuling, we just uploaded the newest episode of our podcast *Sidenote to YouTube where we talk about the new FDA regulations, our first time smoking, and scientifically debate whether or not we think Juuling is good. Click here to listen on YouTube or subscribe to *Sidenote wherever you get your podcasts.