The Newest Epidemic

By: Shaymaa Shukryia & Alexandra Damonte

What is a Juul? Why are teenagers using them? Juuling is the newest trend in the lives of teenagers today.

Juuling is a new term for vaping. The Juul vaporizer looks like a USB flash drive that can easily be recharged through adapters and even a laptop.

This device was first introduced by PAX Labs, an American electronic cigarette company, in 2015. JUUL spun out of PAX Labs and became its own company on July 2017, based in San Francisco, California. Vaping products have become a multi-billion dollar industry.

The JUUL has become popular among high school students throughout the United States. So much so that the company is currently undergoing an investigation by the FDA. Some say that the company knows that teens are becoming addicted, and is finding ways to introduce and get more kids hooked. In an intense conversation with our very own principal, Mrs. Holland, we discussed the new craze around the JUUL and vaping. In her very passionate response she says, “It makes me crazy…I think these vaping industries target younger people because they think that young people aren’t going to be able to think through the health consequences…they introduce candy flavors…kids become addicted to vaping…which have extreme amount of nicotine in them…nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on earth.”

On the topic of nicotine, because of the JUUL device, nicotine addiction has gone up. This causes teens to keep purchasing flavored ‘pods’: mint, fruit medley, mango, creme brulee, etc. JUUL sales rose by 700% in 2016.

Young students are the primary consumers of the JUUL. Even though the company states that they do not condone teens using their product, they keep finding ways to attract teenagers to this new epidemic. For example, they do most of their advertising on Instagram and social media. In the process, teens have increasingly become the new addiction to nicotine.

In an interview with a student who will remain anonymous, we asked what addiction meant to them, they said, “You don’t know how much you are doing… can’t really tell yourself to stop easily… slowly over time you adapt into doing it everyday to a point where you can’t stop.” Studies show that gradually weaning off of nicotine is better than cutting it off completely, which means, people who are struggling with a nicotine addiction should try to slowly but gradually wean off of nicotine.

With the FDA investigating JUUL, the company may have to discontinue their most popular flavors: cucumber, mango, and fruit medley. Hopefully the discontinuation of these flavors will help decrease the amount of juvenile addictions.

If you are struggling with addiction please contact the National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center at 800-784-6776. They are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

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