The newest trend to hit the teen scene is JUUL, an e-cigarette that looks like a flash drive and can even be charged using a laptop’s USB port. And because it looks like a household object and emits less smoke than most e-cigarettes, it’s much easier for kids to disguise. The vapor cloud from the Juul device is so small and dissolves so quickly that students can easily blow it into their sweater or backpack without a teacher or fellow student noticing.
However innocent looking though, each Juul cartridge, which kids can easily go through in a day, lasts about 200 puffs, and contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. As with other e-cigarettes, Juuling devices are restricted to adults 21 years and older, however older siblings, fake IDs, and lax restrictions online make them easy for minors to purchase.
“Juuling is not something kids can quit, because it’s so addictive,” says Dr. David Tinkelman, who oversees National Jewish Health’s tobacco cessation program that operates the 1-800-QUIT-NOW service for Colorado and 15 other states. Tinkelman explains there is evidence that large amounts of nicotine may affect teens’ developing brains, leading to an addictive personality later on.
“Parents need to be able to understand what the dangers of Juuling are for their kids,” Tinkelman says. “Being able to have an open, honest discussion with kids, just as you would with sex or anything else, gives them something to think about as they make their own decisions for their life.”
JUUL shared the following statement in regards to minors using their product:
“JUUL Labs’ mission is to eliminate cigarette smoking by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to cigarettes. JUUL is not intended for anyone else. We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product.”