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JUULs in Schools

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JUULs in Schools

One of the posters hung in the bathroom of Thomas Worthington reads

One of the posters hung in the bathroom of Thomas Worthington reads " Some of the grossest things in the bathroom are in that vape."

One of the posters hung in the bathroom of Thomas Worthington reads " Some of the grossest things in the bathroom are in that vape."

One of the posters hung in the bathroom of Thomas Worthington reads " Some of the grossest things in the bathroom are in that vape."

Leah Lindemeyer, Editor

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E-cigarettes were developed as an alternative to cigarettes so that smokers could kick their addiction. In 2017, JUUL Labs, an electronic cigarette company, produced an e-cigarette called the JUUL and it quickly became the most popular on the market. After the launch, JUULs have had a looming presence in schools. There has been a growing concern about teenagers and the use of e-cigarettes, specifically the JUUL.

The FDA reported that from 2017 to 2018 1.5 million more students use e-cigarettes.

The “JUUL” has become increasingly popular among teenagers and young adults due to its discreet design and flavored “JUULpods”. A JUUL has two components: the e-cigarette and the pod, which contains a liquid made up of nicotine, glycerol and propylene glycol, benzoic acid, and flavoring. JUULpods contain 5% e-liquid with nicotine, the equivalent to the amount of nicotine in a pack of cigarettes (Tobacco-Free Kids).  JUULpods come in eight flavors: Mango, Fruit, Cucumber, Creme, Mint, Menthol, Virginia Tobacco and Classic Tobacco. Recently JUUL Labs announced the retraction of most of its flavored e-cigarette pods (Mango, Fruit, Cucumber, and Creme) from retail stores until they invest in age-verification technology. In the meantime, Juul Labs is also improving its online age-verification system. This is being done to curb the number of teenage users.

Kevin Burns, chief executive of JUUL Labs, made a statement that “Our intent was never to have youth use JUUL products. But intent is not enough. The numbers are what matter and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarettes is a problem” (The New York Times).

A product originally created to curb smoking habits has created a new problem, nicotine addiction among teenagers. Many students JUUL to seem cool, deal with stress or simply because they have the ability to. No matter the reason it doesn’t change the effects that nicotine, an addictive chemical, can have on individuals. A study by Truth Initiative found that 63% of JUUL users don’t know that the product always contains nicotine. This is concerning since nicotine is not only addictive but can also harm brain development and the cardiovascular system.

A Worthington student aware of the consequences of JUULing said,  “Many students are addicted to JUULing because of the nicotine. It’s not worth the health risks and it’s an expensive habit.”

The increase in use has forced administrators to crack down on JUULing among students. A Drug and Alcohol (ATOD) policy is put in place to deter student-athletes from participating in activities like JUULing. This year posters were hung up in the bathrooms of both Worthington High Schools to discourage JUULing. Although, preventative measures are put in place students are still JUULing both in and out of school.

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