By now, you’ve probably heard of vaping or smoking an e-cigarette. While both are thought to be safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, they’re certainly not 100% risk-free. Most e-cigarette products contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance.
There are so many vaporizers these days that it’s hard to even keep track: E-cigarettes, vaporizers, e-hookahs, e-cigars, and e-pens…and now? There are Juuls. And these are definitely the worst of the bunch.
And they’re unfortunately the newest dangerous craze among adolescents.
What are Juuls?
Juuls are a small vaping device that was invented by two Stanford graduate students back in 2007. It’s now the best-selling e-cigarette on the market, capturing 32 percent of the market share, according to Nielsen data.
The Juul device heats the nicotine juice, which creates a vapor, and is then inhaled by the user. They come in a wealth of flavors including crème brulee, cool cucumber, and mango.
Juuling at schools
Juuls are especially popular among teens and college-aged students, even though the buying age is 21+. (Rumor has it those under the age of 21 are getting it from of-age friends, or using a fake age to order them online with a prepaid debit card.) Also, the starter kit only costs about $50, so it’s not impossible for young people to afford.
Juuls appeal to students because of their shape—they’re so small. It consists of a long, slim vaporizer that’s able to fit in the palm of their hand, and disposable “pods” of nicotine juice that are inserted into the vaporizer.
Because the Juul is as small and compact as it is, the vaporizers can be conveniently charged on a laptop or other USB port, so students don’t even have to hide anything from unassuming professors or parents, who may just think it’s a flash drive. The actual device is commonly mistaken for a sharpie or a pen.
And that’s why there are so many adolescents juuling at school, most commonly in the bathrooms. School administrators are starting to crack down, banning the devices from school grounds and letting parents know the negative effects Juuls can have on students.
Are Juuls really so bad?
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Most people smoke e-cigarettes because they tend to be safer than cigarettes. But one Juul pod, on the other hand, contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes (or about 200 puffs), according to the company website. That’s way more than other e-cigarette products—even more than double some. The reason people like it so much is because it gives you a quick, strong buzz.
Juuls are 21+ for a reason—they’re really not intended for students at all. In fact, they were created to offer current adult smokers an alternative to the original cigarette. Nicotine is especially harmful when it comes to teens and young adults.
Why nicotine is harmful for teens
- Using products with nicotine while your brain is still developing and forming is concerning and can be harmful, according to the surgeon general
- Being a gateway drug, nicotine exposure during adolescence can be addicting and lead to the use of traditional cigarettes and marijuana
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found many cancer-causing chemicals in vaping products
There is some good news: The Juul company has said that they strongly condemn the use of Juuls by minors, and that they’re working on a more strict protocol to eliminate minors from purchasing the product from their website.
Also, more and more schools and parents are starting to crack down as they learn more about Juuls. If you’re a parent or school administrator, please be sure to educate yourself on what to look for when students are juuling.
To learn more about this new trend and what experts are saying, watch the video below:
What do you think of the popularity surrounding Juuling? Have you – or do you know someone under 21 who has – tried it before?