WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — “Pod mods,” which are small, rechargeable devices that aerosolize liquid solutions containing nicotine encapsulated in cartridges, pose a danger to adolescent users, according to a perspective article published in the Sept. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jessica L. Barrington-Trimis, Ph.D., and Adam M. Leventhal, Ph.D., from the Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, discussed the use of pod mods, which are thought to be widely used among young people.

The authors note that pod mods deliver high levels of nicotine; many use protonated nicotine formulations derived from the nicotine salts in loose-leaf tobacco and contain concentrations two to 10 times higher than those found in most free-base-nicotine electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products. Salt-based nicotine combined with other additives results in a satisfying experience even at high concentrations of nicotine. The noxious taste and sensations of the initial smoking experience, which deter some from smoking, is not present in pod mods, which is a factor in their addictiveness. They are also easy to conceal and have a modern design, with some covers resembling smartphone cases. Given the high concentrations of nicotine, the associated health consequences could be worse than those from most e-cigarette products. Sixty-three percent of 15- to 24-year-olds did not even know that nicotine is present in Juul pod mod products.

“Comprehensive actions are urgently needed to counteract adolescents’ use of pod mods and other e-cigarettes,” the authors write.

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