By Christy Piña
Have you heard of JUULing? Right now, this e-cigarette is very popular among teens and college students.
A JUUL resembles a USB flash drive, is small enough to fit into a closed hand, and comes in all kinds of flavors like crème brulee, mint and mango. JUULs are essentially straight nicotine. Each pod of liquid nicotine is equivalent to 200 cigarette puffs or a pack of cigarettes.
Its resemblance to a USB drive makes deception very easy when it comes to students JUULing, and the devices have turned up in schools across the country. Because the product is relatively new, there’s no current risk data about the product, but health officials do know that there are no positives associated with the JUUL.
While you technically have to be 21 years old to buy a JUUL starter park online — which comes with the vape, a USB charger and four packs of flavored pods — you can buy them at 18 in stores. In a survey conducted last year, more than 50 percent of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors had vaped at one point, and more than 30 percent had done it in the last month. In 2015, more than 3 million middle and high school students had used some form of e-cigarette.
While many people see JUULs and other e-cigarettes as a safer alternative than cigarettes, the addictive aspect of it remains. Be sure to talk to your child about the dangers of this new trend.