No, your Juul is not going to give you black lung

This is the 2018 equivalent of the Nigerian Prince scam

The rumors going around about your friend's roommate's cousin getting lung cancer or black lung from the antifreeze in Juul E-cigarettes are completely, unequivocally false.

This morning, while hanging out with a close friend in her room, her roommate told us that she was quitting Juul’s… for real this time. Before we could even question her decision, her roommate told us that a friend of a friend (who conveniently goes to college out of state) had been diagnosed with lung cancer and told it was from the antifreeze in Juul E-cigarettes.

Not even ten minutes after hearing this story, I get a text from a friend of mine who goes to college in Boston telling me that her roommate's friend's roommate had been diagnosed with black lung. They'd also been told that it was the direct result of Juul E-cigarette usage.

I, with my long history of watching medical dramas and one microbiology class under my belt, know that it's preposterous to think that a doctor actually told someone that their cancer was definitively caused by something, especially something that is so new and without solid research backing the claim. My friend, however, spiraled into a panic. She used to use Juul’s and now awaits impending death by lung cancer .

Is she a hypochondriac? Abso-fucking-lutely. But, she also represents a large faction of people our age who will believe just about anything that happened to a friend of a friend. I’m sure a lot of people freaked out at the utterance of the word cancer in relation to something that they used to/ still do religiously.

The reality of this story is that it is simply a hoax. There is no unequivocal evidence that points to a direct causation between Juul E-cigarettes and cancer or black lungs.

The Tab recently interviewed several professionals in the field in a piece pertaining to this topic. One interviewee, Dr Kien Vuu, serves as clinical professor of medicine at UCLA-David Geffen School of Medicine. He responded to questions regarding juuling with the following:

"It is unlikely that 'Juuling' has a short term carcinogenic effect which would cause cancer so early in these young people. It usually takes a lag time from an exposure of a carcinogen before cancer ensues.

The contents within the Juul capsules are unknown in many cases, so it is possible for people to develop bronchitis, bronchiolitis, or forms of acute lung injury which can be severe. The carcinogenic effects of these additional substances long term are unknown at this point; so to say that the contents of Juul has no carcinogenic effects would be unjustified – we just don't know."

So that's that folks, the Juul rumors are a hoax. Will they cause cancer someday? Maybe, but we just don't know. Are they the reason someone's friend's roomate's cousin developed cancer while in college? No.

UMass Amherst