A new trend is beginning to take over the community, the JUUL epidemic.
A JUUL is an electronic cigarette that is used to vape. Unlike other vapes, this one uses nicotine salts derived from the tobacco leaf with added benzoic acids. The end result is an extremely high quantity of nicotine, 50 mg/mL, while most e-cigs and vapes top out at 16-24 mg/mL of nicotine, according to eCigOne.com.
In the community, students are brazenly open about their usage of the JUUL. If one was to walk into the bathroom during the day there is a good chance they might run into someone using a JUUL. “I love JUULing, because it is fun and it feels good,” senior Joe Montesano said.
The fact is, there have been no studies on the harmful effects of the JUUL so no one knows just how bad it is. What we do know, is that nicotine is extremely addictive and is unhealthy for the body. “I would never use a JUUL because they have nicotine and I would not want to get addicted,” junior Julia Clair said.
On Sept. 25, an anonymous student was caught using a JUUL in front of his teacher. His parents were notified and the JUUL was confiscated by security. There are also at least two other cases of students being caught using one in school. “If a student is caught with any kind of vape on school premises it is taken away and not given back unless a parent comes to pick it up,” Security Team Leader Chris Pucciarelli said.
The introduction of JUULs to the community could be a gateway for other smoking, such as smoking cigarettes or even marijuana, although students believe that nicotine is much more harmful than weed. When presented with the opportunity, a student might smoke weed just because they have already used an e-cig and they think it can’t be as harmful as nicotine. Others disagree “I don’t think the JUUL is that bad for you, so that’s why I use it,” a senior who chose to remain anonymous said.
A solution to the issue of students JUULing and thinking it is safe would be if the FDA completed a study on the health deficits of the JUUL, so that students could make more informed choices. Also, students need to keep their illegal activities outside of school because they could be influencing younger, more innocent students negatively.
As a community, we have a reputation to keep up, especially being that we are one of the top schools in the county, and the JUUL epidemic is tarnishing our reputation.