Looking Beyond The Vapor Curtain
A major problem that schools and administrators have had to deal with in the last couple of years is kids Juuling in school. A juul is an e-cigarette that uses nicotine salts that are in leaf-based tobacco. The Juul vaporizer was created in July of 2017 but was introduced to PAX Labs in 2015. This form of vaping has become very popular in young teens but was originally created to help people who had an addiction to smoking cigarettes.
Kids might see the Juul as less harmful or a better alternative to smoking cigarettes, but what they don’t know is each cartridge or Juul Pod contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. That is equal to about 200 to 400 cigarette puffs. Vaping extensively can lead to nicotine addiction very quickly. Teenagers are taking in more nicotine then they are aware of and do not believe this will have an effect on their lives when they are older.
The Juul became very popular with teenagers in high schools and even some middle schoolers in the months leading up to school. This type of vaporizing normally takes place in the school bathrooms, making it harder for administration to catch those kids. A study from Truth Initiative found that 19% of young adults, ages 15-24, Juul. It is becoming an activity that more and more young teenagers are getting involved in.
Many people, especially adolescents, do not realize that there are many harmful chemicals in the cartridge of the Juul Pod. Some people have reported that they had extreme chest pain after “Juuling” a lot and it resulted in bubbles and fluid forming in the chest area. Each cartridge contains nicotine, glycerol, propylene glycol, flavor, and benzoic acid, which is a very dangerous chemical.
Schools across the country have been having issues with this new e-cigarette technology. With its high-tech design, Juuls can pass as a flash drive with its similar looks.
Officer Gleason, who is a resource officer at Hilliard Darby High School explained his thoughts about juuling and what administration is doing to control juuling to the best of their abilities. Officer Gleason is also apart of the Hilliard Police.
“It is also very easy for high schoolers to access the Juuls, creating a bigger problem in the school,” stated Officer Gleason.
I was fortunate enough to talk to Officer Gleason about the effects of Juuling and his thoughts about the upcoming trend, as well as what administration is trying to do with this situation. The main goal is to cut down the number of young kids juuling and to educate adolescents about the negative effects of it so they will fully understand how unhealthy it is for their bodies. By teaching kids the effect of drugs at a young age, they will know not to get involved in this harmful activity.
I asked Officer Gleason how many kids he catches juuling at school on average.
“Some of the kids doing this get brought to me and some of them don’t. I would say since the start of school we have had about 15 kids.”
Officer Gleason also shared that this issue has been more of a problem this year compared to last year because of the accessibility of the product and getting it from outside sources.
“Will the manufacturers admit to it? No, but I think a lot of it is the marketing with the various flavors and packaging,” explained Officer Gleason.
There are about 7 flavors that the JUUL company makes, not counting the additional flavors teens can get from smokehouses. In recent news, the company JUUL have stopped selling the mango and fruit flavors. Researchers think this is to slow down the consumption of adolescents who like the fruity and most popular flavors.
So how do schools and administration plan on cutting down the number of kids juuling in schools and or on school property? Many schools have tried changing their discipline policies and having classes that teach about drug prevention. Officer Gleason explained how he is working to catch juuling in bathrooms.
“Myself and the hall monitors are doing restroom checks as needed,” he said, hoping to cut down the number of young teens getting involved in sharing this at schools.
Tobacco is not allowed on school grounds, and if students are caught, there is necessary disciplinary action from the administration. Catching the kids early enough can reduce this problem from spreading and stop it from happening at school.
The maybe more surprising issue is that it is even taking part at the middle school level. These kids are only 13-15 years olds and are followers, meaning the main reason why they started juuling at a young age is because they think it looks cool and everyone else is doing it.
I talked to Mrs. Brown, who is a middle school teacher in the Hilliard City School District. I wanted to see if it was as much of a problem in middle school as it has been in high schools. I asked Mrs. Brown if she has had a lot of experience with kids juuling in middle school.
“Yes, it is becoming more popular and we’re seeing kids with high infractions of juuling.”
Schools are starting to force immediate suspension if kids are caught in order to send a message that this is against the rules and not something administration should have to deal with during school hours.
“It makes me sad to see young teenagers juuling because they don’t know what they’re doing to their body and it is a lot worse than they think it is. They are getting themselves addicted to something that could have long, negative effects,” explained Mrs. Brown. From juuling, people have a higher chance of brain damage and risk getting lung cancer.
All in all, juuling is not something young kids or adults should be getting themselves involved in. Many people do not know how this can and will affect how they live their lives in the future. It can either get better from here or get worse, and most people hope to see this controversial topic start to decrease.