According to a survey conducted by Dr. Andrew S. Nickels of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, more than 70 percent of American doctors say they think vaping helps patients reduce or even quit smoking. While that may be true, Nickels and associates didn't survey teens about the Juul, the newest and sleekest vape currently experiencing a meteoric rise among young and older teens. It has parents and educators worried, and it should. One Juul pod contains 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine.
WHAT TO KNOW
In case you're still unaware, the Juul (pronounced "jewel") looks like a USB flash drive with a dark, matte finish. It hides in the hand (or you can slip it into your crew sock) and nicotine properties give kids a "buzz." While some vapes require you to drop juices in, the Juul uses pre-packaged fruity flavored "pods" that kids can insert in seconds.
Parents should be aware, says Editor Susan Day of Nashville Parent Magazine. "One pod carries as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes," Day says. "That blows my mind, because kids are using them like they are harmless." The Juul has cigarette-like strength nicotine levels via "JUULsalts," according to the company's website, a formula created to "meet the satisfaction standards of cigarette smokers." But Juuls have gone viral on high school campuses and are even circulating in middle schools. School bathrooms are the vaping spot of choice. Kids aren't aware that there's anything to be concerned about, but the truth is, long-term safety data on e-cigarettes do not yet exist. Juuls can be easily ordered online from the website for $49.99. Flavors include tobacco, "creme brulee," mint and the most popular, mango.
The prevalence of juuls on school campuses has educators worried. One Williamson County High School principal saw 34 citations on his school campus just last week. According to this principal, surveys show that 30 - 40 percent of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the last year.