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      JUUL and other stealth vaporisers: hiding the habit from parents and teachers

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      Tobacco Control

      BMJ

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          Abstract

          Background

          Some consumers wish to use vapour devices discreetly so that family members, teachers and coworkers do not recognise their use of nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) laden vapour.

          Methods

          Stealthy vapour devices, as well as low-odour and low-vapour e-juices, were identified via a comprehensive online search between March and June 2018.

          Results

          As evidence of their popularity, a search for ‘stealth vaping’ on YouTube found 18 200 videos. A variety of cleverly designed vapour devices disguised as USB sticks, pens, remote controls, car fobs, smart phones, sweatshirt drawstrings and even asthma inhalers are on the market. JUUL, which resembles a USB stick, is the archetype of these devices and is especially popular among youth. A search of ‘JUUL’ on YouTube yielded 148 000 videos with 57 videos having >100 000 views. Searches on ‘JUUL at school’ (15 500), ‘JUUL in class’ (6840), ‘hiding JUUL in school (2030) and ‘JUUL in school bathroom’ (1040) illustrate the product’s popularity among students. Some e-juices promote themselves as having low visibility plumes while others profess to be of subtle odour to avoid detection. Numerous techniques have been described to hide the exhaled vapour plume such as by swallowing it or blowing it into one’s clothing or into a backpack.

          Conclusions

          The vaping industry has demonstrated much ingenuity in devising discreet vaporisers and de-emphasising exhaled vapour plumes and their aroma. The US market for vaping devices with stealthy characteristics is anything but inconspicuous, with JUUL alone accounting for 70.5% of sales (July 2018).

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Tobacco Control
          Tob Control
          BMJ
          0964-4563
          1468-3318
          September 15 2018
          : tobaccocontrol-2018-054455
          Article
          10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2018-054455
          © 2018

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