In the United States, the Juul e-cigarette has been the victim of a massive smear campaign on Twitter. The “Truth” campaign is the purveyor of slanderous and libelous statements about the controversial vaping device.
“Truth” is an American campaign that promotes a zero-smoking policy amongst teenagers. In a tweet, the association declared that it was better to smoke 19 cigarettes per day than to use a Juul. The message caused a furor online, as many young people took the statement literally, which caused the rumor to grow in the subsequent days.
However, the Truth campaign’s statements are totally false. A single cigarette contains approximately 12 mg of nicotine, while an entire Juul pod contains a maximum of 40mg. In terms of nicotine levels, the Juul is equivalent to 3 cigarettes (in terms of nicotine) and not 19, as the campaign suggested.
False information spreads like wildfire
Unfortunately, even some legitimate health organizations like the CDC (The Center for Disease Control) helped to spread the rumor started by “Truth,” and news magazines also cited the tweet in articles about parental responsibility.
On his blog, Dr. Michael Siegel listed a surprising amount of media organizations that cited the false statements made by Truth. The specialist on the detrimental health-effects of tobacco is worried about the impact this fake news may have on the public. According to him, the messages suggests that the Juul is much more dangerous than traditional cigarettes. But aside from the erroneous comparison of nicotine levels, cigarettes contain far more toxic chemicals than e-cigarettes. What’s more, Juul recently released cartridges with lower levels of nicotine.
Dr. Siegel’s intention is not to minimize the potential dangers of young people becoming nicotine-dependent. He simply wants consumers to have factual information and scientific knowledge about the products they are consuming.