Sugar Beet staff reporter
Teen tobacco usage was at an all time low, then in steps the Juul. The Juul and other vaping devices are what’s called an electronic cigarette or E-cig, which heat up liquid nicotine instead of the traditional burning of a cigarette. Across America these USB looking devices are filling principals’ confiscation drawers, including that of Rodger Syng, principal of the Arts and Communication academy.
“Thoroughly negative,” Syng said regarding the impact Juuls have on high school students. “First of all it’s illegal, it’s bad for your health, there is nothing good about it. It is unnecessary and there is no positive impact whatsoever. Marketing made Juuls so popular with high school students, the size and various appealing flavors made Juuls big in high schools across the US. The school is very observant and we rely a lot upon student reporting to catch Juul users. Adults are not the only people that feel it is wrong, many student have no interest in doing something this wrong and we really appreciate them.”
Devices like these are meant for recovering smokers, but the Food and Drug Administration is accusing some major vaping companies marketing to teens. According to the Juul website one pod packs as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Since these devices just started popping up the FDA is still trying to determine health risks that come with this device.
Emma Dirks is just one of the students who has noticed this problem in school.
“Juuls have a big impact on students,” Dirks said. “It hurts their brain and distracts them from their school work. I think Juuls blew up so fast in the high school because once certain people who had big impacts got them other people started to follow, they wanted the same buzz as everyone else.”
The Juuls size, look and discrete smell makes them that much harder to catch in a high school. The nicotine held in these device can easily make any high school student a nicotine addict. With most states having the minimum age required to buy a Juul and other vaping devices at 18, teens ask their slightly older friends to buy these devices for them. The T-21 Act recently passed in Finney County made the minimum age required to buy tobacco and nicotine products at 21 in attempt to stop the epidemic.
“Juuls can create more nicotine addicts,” David Rodriguez, jounior, said. “Juuls are so popular because they are probably easier to conceal than other things.”
If a student is caught with a Juul they can face out of school suspension, eight hours worth of drug prevention classes and legal problems such as a felony for bringing drugs onto a school ground.
Jordan is a health and trade academy junior. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.