The rise of JUULing



Jenna Corrao, Contributing Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

A JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that has been affecting teens everywhere. It’s discrete and sleek build makes it attractive to kids, not to mention the flavors. Despite the world’s knowledge of the dangers of smoking, many kids are hopping on the bandwagon. Joanne Felton, the D.A.R.E officer at Solon Middle School said that history is repeating itself. Just like when cigarettes became popular without anyone knowing the side effects and risks.

“Like anything else, it becomes a social norm,” Felton said.

The JUUL is very common with high school kids so there must be a reason why. When asked why so many kids are JUULing Assistant Principal Josh Frazier said he believes teens are being naive and ignorant about the side effects JUUL’s cause.

“I think it’s trendy and student’s think that it’s cool. I don’t believe that they view it the same as a cigarette,” Frazier said. “It seems sexier and cooler than smoking an actual cigarette.”

It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes leads to respiratory issues, lung cancer and is the leading preventable cause of death. E-cigarette companies advertise that they are the healthier alternative to smoking in order to reel in consumers. Teens rationalize JUULing to be healthy because of these advertisements that are putting out false information.

“It’s like comparing poison ivy to poison oak,” Felton said.

The JUUL is a healthier alternative to someone who is an already long-time smoker, not adolescents with young, untouched lungs.

“Putting anything into our lungs other than our normal atmosphere is extremely unhealthy. Sure JUUL is much healthier than cigarettes, it’s still way worse than not smoking anything at all,” an anonymous survey respondent said.

Dealing with addiction isn’t the only negative health problem caused by JUULing. Nicotine doesn’t only hook a person but it also can cause serious health problems that could include possible infertility.

“There is an increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal disorders,”according to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “There is decreased immune response and it also poses ill impacts on the reproductive health. It affects the cell proliferation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, DNA mutation by various mechanisms which leads to cancer.”

A questionnaire to investigate how JUULing affects Solon High School (SHS) students. 155 students replied and 15 kids (9.8 %) said that they have used a JUUL in school. Of those 15, eight people said they they use the JUUL in school every day.

“I am amazed at the number of students who have tried it and continue to do it,” said Frazier.

Based off of the questionnaire, one can tell JUUL’s affect some students daily life if they are having to use the JUUL in school everyday.

Anyone above who is 18-years-old or older can buy a JUUL. However, the rules still apply in school because SHS is a smoking-free zone which also includes vaporizers and JUULs. Bringing a JUUL into SHS can cause a student to face serious consequences.

“The first offense is a three day out of school suspension, second offense is a five day out of school suspension, third is ten days out of school suspension,” Frazier said, “We take it very seriously and it’s not [a consequence] that we are going to reduce.”

Facing consequences in school can be tough but so is facing addiction. Addiction is a disease that can be hard to accept or even realize. Five students who took the survey admitted to being addicted to the nicotine in the JUUL and another five students responded “maybe.” Students may not realize they have an addiction because they think that they can stop whenever, when in reality, they can’t. Felton said that addiction affects the same part of the brain as any drug does which is why it calls for professional help.

“I think with any addiction, it would be to first consult with your doctor,” Felton said.

Though the administrators are not experts in dealing with addiction, they still want to help better SHS students lives. If a student ever realizes that they have an addiction and wants to get help, Solon’s staff will point them in the right direction by referring to them to their resources.

“I’ve had some heart to heart conversations because it is about changing,” Frazier said, “The first step is realizing that you’re addicted to it.”

According to Mayo Clinic, some signs and symptoms of nicotine addiction are: inability to stop using, experiencing withdrawal when not using, giving up social activities in order to JUUL, or continuing despite knowing the health issues it causes.

The rise of JUULs are causing more and more teens to become addicted to nicotine and Solon isn’t immune.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email