The Juuling Epidemic

Stuart Schaenen

More stories from Stuart Schaenen

Odell Beckham Trade
April 23, 2019

Any student who has used a restroom in their time at Madison High School, has undoubtedly seen a juul or witnessed the act of vaping. Vaping is a popular activity that has taken over MHS over the past couple years. This is an issue that has been addressed by the staff, and despite the precautionary measures put in place, juuling is still prevalent in the school.

A juul as seen in the picture to the right, is a relatively small e-cigarette that looks somewhat like a flash drive. The size and concealability of a juul can make it easy for students to use discreetly in a wide range of places, both inside and outside of school. Furthermore, juuling gives off vapor that quickly disperses and has minimal smell. As for the point of vaping, people do it to get a “buzz” from the nicotine concetrate present in each juul.

For those unfamiliar with the act of “vaping”, it is the act of inhaling vapor produced by any kind of e-cigarette or personal vaporizer. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a coil housed in an atomizer that transforms “e-liquid” (or e-juice) into vapor. The e-liquid that goes into the atomizer is a mixture of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, usually with water-soluble food flavorings. In the case of juuls, the e-liquid is stored into pods (the small part at the top of the juul), which come in a variety of flavors.

Pods flavors for juuling include mango, mint, tobacco, creme, etc. The introduction of a greater variety of flavors like these could be seen as an advertising strategy by e-cigarette and juuling companies into attracting a younger age group to their product. Teenagers will buy their favorite flavors in bulks of pods like buying candy from a store. This craze has lead to a massive popularity increase in juuling amongst teenagers, with 38% of high schoolers across the country admitting to have tried vaping before. This statistics was also provided in 2015, so that number has probably increased. And though vaping may not seem to be a health threat, as not much is yet known on the subject of vaping, recent studies are unveiling some possible effects of the substance.

It is true that compared to the nearly 43 cancer inducing chemicals and 4,000 toxins present in cigarettes, vaping is not nearly as bad. However, many teenagers believe that vaping is harmless and that is not the case. There is growing evidence that vaping can lead to a smoker’s cough and bloody mouth sores, in addition to addiction as nicotine is a main component in it. Furthermore, like many other substances, juuling can be a gateway drug. Once a person builds up an immunity and uses a juul more often, it becomes harder to get a buzz and this leads them to looking for more serious drugs. While the initial concept of vaping provides a great alternative for cigarette addicts and disuse from traditional cigarettes, it could lead into a new problem for the next generation.