Pediatrician: “Juuling” is a menace to our children

Think this Massachussetts doctor is wound a little too tight?

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JUUL in hand

The vaping fear is thick in Westwood, MA. A local pediatrician has made it his mission to fight the scourge of teen Juul use, which he believes is a serious trend.

Dr. Lester Hartman says the Juul is appealing in part because it looks like a USB flash drive, and can be charged by USB. He told Boston’s Fox TV affiliate that the Juul is so small and unassuming that parents may not even know what they are.

“I’m seeing kids starting to get this – I’m seeing the marketing has entered into the kids and I’m seeing parents have no idea about these things,” Hartman told Fox 25. All that may be true — though the idea of a teen Juul epidemic is a bit farfetched — but the doctor went on to make clearly incorrect points about the Juul and vaping in general.

According to the TV station, Dr. Hartman claimed “the carcinogens in the device include propylene glycol, the same chemical as anti-freeze.” That’s an old e-cigarette smear. Two minutes of research would have taught the incurious doc that the reason some antifreeze uses PG is to make it safer than standard antifreeze containing toxic ethylene glycol.

“We don't know what it does to a little kid being exposed.”

“We don’t know what that does to a fetus,” says Hartman. “We don’t know what it does to a little kid being exposed.” The nervous doc actually wrote a letter to all the parents of his patients suggesting they speak to their kids’ school principals and request that they suspend anyone caught “Juuling.”

There’s nothing new about clueless doctors, educators, news people — or the public at large, for that matter — taking bits and pieces of information about vaping and combining it with baseless fears and stuff they heard from someone somewhere to make a fluffy, delicious fear souffle.

Who can forget the dripping “study,” in which researchers asked a stupid question and misinterpreted the answers, then thought it best to whip up fear over a trend that never occurred?

Hey, instead of suspending vapers from school, maybe they should go right to the reformatory. Or directly to prison.

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Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.