Concealed Vaping, referred to as ‘Juuling,’ rampant in high schools Nationwide
Teens vaping with pens known as Juuls are rampant in schools nationwide.
The device looks like a USB and could contain potentially harmful chemicals and nicotine.
“The first day I got into my car and I turned around and there was this kid doing it in front of me, in front of the school, in the car and I am like wow,” said Coronado PTSA Secretary Julieta Marquez.
Marquez says she was shocked hearing one of her daughters had tried juuling.
‘You never think your kids will do it,” said Marquez.
She took up the issue with EPISD’s school resource officer, Christopher Rodriguez.
He says school administrators confiscate juuls every week. Many of them are easy for students to hide or vape in plain sight because of their appearance.
“We actually even had a student one time present a juul to his teacher and ask them if they could charge their USB and the teacher, not knowing what it was, actually charged the juul for the student, “said Rodriguez.
It has been so prevalent that Rodriguez and the Coronado PTSA teamed up to make a presentation to educate students and parents of the harmful effects of juuling.
Pediatrician Dr. Prodanovic-Nutis says juuls can actually be just as harmful as cigarettes because inhaling on juul pod is like smoking 12 cigarettes.
“Nicotine is extremely addictive and unfortunately for kids, it can cause lung cancer and the carcinogen itself can get into your upper airways and your skin,” said Nutis.
What’s worse is the way juuls are marketed make them enticing for high schoolers and younger kids.
“The flavors themselves, if you look at them, it is like bubble gum. They give them these cute names that make them sound like they are candy,” said Nutis.
“A lot of companies are marketing to young kids on Youtube. They are actually paying some kids to make videos promoting vaping or juuling and all that to make it seem cool to their peers,” said Nutis.
“If you look at the information, these companies are owned by big tobacco,” said Marquez.
The juuling epidemic has gotten so bad, the FDA has started to crack down on stores that sell juuls. They have already issued 40 citations for illegal sales to kids. A day later, Juul Labs announced they are donating $30 million dollars to fight underage vaping. The company has also said they will support legislation to raise the vaping age to 21 from 18.
Officer Rodriguez says as a parent, you have to be vigilant.
“We are telling parents to be aware of what is inside your kids’ backpack and jeans,” said Rodriguez.
“The only thing we need to remember as parents is we are the ones that give the money to our kids so we need to decide if we are going to pay for those things,” said Marquez.
Most importantly, if you do find out your child is juuling, don’t flip out. Just explain to them juuling is more than just water vapor. It is inhaling carcinogens and nicotine into your body that can harm your health for years to come.
Anyone under the age of 18 caught juuling can be given a citation and fine up to $250. If that juul is laced with T.H.C., it can even be a felony possession charge.