As the mysterious vaping-related illness continues to sweep across the U.S., the search for a cause or common ingredient moves forward. During a House Oversight and Reform Committee panel on consumer products hearing held on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, a CDC official called out JUUL’s use of nicotine salts and expressed concerns that this substance could be dangerous to teenagers.
During the panel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s principal deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat talked about JUUL’s use of nicotine salts and how this substance can lead to further nicotine addiction. Schuchat explained that nicotine salts allow nicotine to “cross the blood brain barrier and lead to potentially more effect on the developing brain in adolescents.” In the past, however, JUUL has explained that nicotine salts give users a similar experience to those that use conventional cigarettes.
The CDC expressed its concerns about nicotine salts and its impact on developing brains, listing out the different effects nicotine addiction can have on individuals, including learning, attention and memory difficulties. Schuchat also talked about how nicotine addiction could be the gateway to other substance use and addiction.