Vaping and juuling are alternatives to smoking cigarettes that have become more popular in recent years. A JUUL, similar to a vape pen, is a small version of an e-cigarette that has a rechargeable battery, flavored liquid, and optionally nicotine by use of the JUUL pod. With its growing popularity, more and more high school students are getting their hands on them. Even with all of the negative health effects and rules against it, some students persist on using during school.
This year, the popularity has increased according to Director of Student Life Mike Orlando. “Restrooms are the biggest place [to vape and JUUL],” Orlando added.
“[Vaping and Juuling] just started last year, and then people went insane about it,” senior Francesca Lopreato said. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, 14% of 10th graders and 16.2% of 12th graders smoke e-cigarettes as of February 2016.
When it comes to preventing vaping and Juuling in schools, they best way is teaching students the risks that are involved. “There’s nothing you can really do to prevent it.
Many underclassmen don’t know the risks associated with it, so mentioning them may help,” senior Claire Dotson said.
“It’s like drinking, you can ban it all you want, but people are going to drink,” Lopreato said.
“Just regulate; have teachers monitor the halls, or inform the parents of what’s going on,” junior Mac Moore said.
Some students may be wondering if they can still vape and JUUL if it doesn’t contain any nicotine. “If you have things that look like drugs, you’ll still get in trouble. It’s not permitted,” Orlando said. “[There’s] years upon years of studies that you shouldn’t put in anything but oxygen. My father died to lung cancer. It’s a gruesome death,” Theology teacher Teresa Davis said.
One JUUL pod is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes as shown on JUUL Vapor. According to Time Magazine, “Scientists led by Dr. Holly Middlekauff, professor of medicine at University of California Los Angeles, and her colleagues found that devices that contain nicotine can boost adrenaline levels in the heart—essentially putting the heart under stress, which is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.” Another side effect of vaping and Juuling is popcorn lungs. Popcorn lungs, according to American Lung Assocation, is a major lung disease that can cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
“It’s a problem that 14 year olds are getting addicted to nicotine, smoking a pack of cigarettes [equivalent] a day, and will probably end up with popcorn lungs. People need to know what they’re at least getting into. You need to know the consequences and be informed before you make a decision,” Dotson said.
Photo curtsy of Fredericks Burg.