JUUL E-Cigs and Social Security—A Tricky Relationship

JUUL E-Cigs and Social Security—A Tricky Relationship

Juul e-cigs and social security

JUUL vaping is the latest iteration of electronic cigarette technology, and while some claim that JUUL use is safer than traditional cigarettes, the latest trend could affect your social security benefits. Social Security Disability Advocates wants you to know that if you do vape with a JUUL e-cigarette, don’t lose hope. You may still qualify for social security disability benefits. But the relationship between vaping and social security is a tricky, complex one. Here are the details. 

What is JUUL?

A JUUL is a small electronic cigarette device invented by PAX Labs and is now overseen by JUUL Labs. The JUUL resembles a USB/flash drive and is easily concealable, one of the more attractive traits of the JUUL when compared with other electronic cigarettes. The device interacts with JUUL “pods,” which are cartridges filled with liquid nicotine along with other ingredients that could harm the human body. The pod heats up, creating an aerosol that the user is able to easily inhale. Pods come in a variety of appealing flavors, another reason people choose the JUUL over its competitors.

What are the Health Effects?

The long-term effects of electronic cigarette use are not known; there just isn’t enough data or scientific studies on such a subject. Some studies have shown, however, that with what data we have available, electronic cigarettes are not harmless.

The Ingredients

Many of the ingredients in the JUULpod liquid are not known because not every ingredient is labeled. This alone is cause for concern. It’s difficult to determine the safety of something when not all the ingredients are known. However, there are some ingredients in JUULpod liquid that we do know of, and we know they are in fact harmful.

Nicotine is the main ingredient of JUULpods and other electronic cigarettes. While some electronic cigarette cartridges may not have nicotine, most JUULpods and other electronic cigarettes use nicotine in their liquids. JUULpods have an especially alarming amount of nicotine: one JUULpod contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. That’s more than twice the amount of nicotine in similar electronic cigarette devices.

Also, JUULpods in particular use nicotine salts, which is a form of nicotine most closely resembling nicotine found in tobacco leaves, instead of freebase nicotine. Because of this, the bloodstream absorbs the nicotine more easily, leading to a greater risk of addiction. This also makes the vapor less harsh to breathe in, making JUUL e-cigarettes more alluring than their competitors.

Furthermore, JUULpods contain benzoic acid, which possesses confirmed hazardous effects on the body. JUULpods include benzoic acid because it amplifies the effects and potency of nicotine, and nicotine does the same with benzoic acid. It’s a dangerous synergy.

Physical Effects

The physical effects are both unpleasant and unhealthy. Some immediate physical effects caused by nicotine/benzoic acid are the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness/headache
  • Sore throat/coughing
  • Vision problems

Additionally, there are some more serious, long-term effects from JUUL use that are worth noting. While more data is needed, it’s pretty safe to say that using a JUUL e-cigarette can be linked to the following conditions:

  • Cardiovascular problems—JUUL use may cause serious cardiovascular problems. Electronic cigarettes overall can cause increased inflammation, oxidative stress, vascular dysfunction, and sympathetic nerve activation. All these things are signs and precursors to cardiovascular problems and can seriously harm the body if not addressed.
  • Lung problems—Use of the JUUL can contribute to serious lung/breathing problems. Specifically, the use of the JUUL can potentially lower immune system response and lead to an increase in inflammation.
  • Other problems—JUUL use could potentially lead to kidney and liver problems, in addition to other conditions. In fact, formaldehyde, a cancer-causing agent, can form if the liquid in the JUULpod is not heated properly. Ingestion of formaldehyde along with the many other dangerous chemicals in JUULpod liquid is dangerous to one’s health.

Mental Effects

There aren’t just physical effects to worry about. Nicotine/vaping can be harmful in cognitive/mental terms, as well. Here are some such conditions to be aware of:

  • Cognitive problems—Nicotine, in particular, is quite harmful to the brain, especially for adolescents/young adults. Nicotine hinders the growth of the area of the brain crucial in decision-making. Because of this, use of the JUUL can hamper brain development and lead to an increase in impulsive behavior, along with problems in attention and learning.
  • Emotional/Mood problems—JUUL use and other electronic cigarette devices can lead to symptoms of depression. Additionally, while some may claim to use electronic cigarettes to diminish their stress and anxiety, it’s plausible that JUUL and other e-cigs in fact contribute to stress and anxiety.
  • Dependence/Addiction problems—Use of the JUUL can cause one to become addicted to nicotine. And, because of the specially formulated JUULpod liquid, nicotine addiction can occur quite easily and even unnoticeably. Nicotine is just as addictive as cocaine and more addictive than alcohol and some medications. Getting hooked on a JUUL is not something to look forward to.

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

To qualify for social security disability benefits, you must meet a few criteria:

  • Your condition must prevent you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and
  • Your condition must have lasted or must be expected to last no less than 12 months/result in death

Alternatively, some conditions in the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s Blue Book automatically qualify for social security disability benefits. However, if you have a condition not listed, you must prove that you meet the definition of disability. You can help prove this by getting expert medical testimony, medical records, and other documents that show the extent of your disability.

Additionally, in order to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must, generally speaking, have earned 40 work credits. You can earn up to 4 credits per year, and one credit for every $1,360 (for the year 2019). Therefore, you need at least ten years’ worth of work to qualify for SSDI. However, some exceptions may apply. Contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA if you have questions about your social security benefits.

Why the Conflict?

JUUL e-cigs and social security benefits have a hard time going together. Why is this? Well, before receiving social security benefits, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) center in your state will look at your case. If they determine that your disability originates from your lifestyle, you may not receive disability benefits.

In other words, you must show that vaping/electronic cigarettes do not contribute to your medical condition, and that you would still be considered disabled regardless of your vaping/electronic cigarette usage. This can be quite difficult if not impossible to prove. However, if you use a JUUL e-cig or other electronic cigarettes, it’s still possible you may be eligible for disability benefits.

If possible, though, you should quit any habits that are bad for your health. Alcohol, marijuana, JUUL electronic cigarettes, traditional cigarettes, illicit drugs, and plenty of other substances can make your case for disability benefits difficult to navigate. Because of this, don’t pursue benefits alone. Contact SSDA USA for help filing your disability claim.

Have Questions About JUUL E-cigs and Social Security?

If you have questions about your social security benefits, contact an SSDA USA advocate right away! Our professionals are standing by and ready to address all your social security questions and concerns.

Feel free to get in touch with us by phone anytime at (602) 952-3200. Additionally, you can get in touch with us online via a contact form or through our LiveChat feature. Don’t keep your questions to yourself; contact an advocate right away!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship. 

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