JUUL affects high schoolers across the country and in KWHS community

Since the creation of the JUUL in 2017, by two Stanford students working on their thesis, the company has an estimated worth of $15 billion dollars.

JUULs are a small electronic cigarette, also known as vape, containing nicotine. Vapor is inhaled by the JUUL user when a JUULpod is attached to the end. JUULpods contain nicotine, glycerol, propylene glycol, benzoic acid, and flavorings. The pods come in either 3% or 5% nicotine and they can last up to 200 puffs per pod. JUUL reports that the amount of nicotine in a pod is equivalent to about 20 cigarettes. JUULpods come in eight different flavors.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and a nicotine addiction gained through JUUL can lead to further substance abuse down the line. “The Truth” reports that using JUULs can weaken your immune system and damage your blood vessels. They also found that you are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes if you JUUL.

JUUL’s website says that their mission is “to improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers”. Although JUUL’s original aim was to help cigarette smokers stop smoking, teenagers have begun to use them.

JUUL is being accused of marketing to young people because of their tech-like design, flavors, and accessibility. JUULs have a sleek design, resembling a flash drive. They are charged in a USB port. Many teens become attracted to JUUL similarly to other technology, such as iPhones.

JUULpods come in flavors such as Creme Brulee and Cool Cucumber. Due to the variety of flavors that JUULpods come in, many believe that the product was intentionally targeted to children.

JUULs have become an issue in schools as students are caught using them in bathrooms, and even in open campus. People are able to JUUL discreetly because of the product’s small size and scentless vapor. JUULs are one of the smallest vapes on the market, being 3.5 inches in length. Students are able to easily bring JUULs to school and hide them, as they can fit in their pockets.

In 2017,  the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 35% of 12th graders have vaped. The numbers are predicted to have increased due to the rapid popularity of JUUL.

Recently JUUL has acknowledged the teenage vaping problem that they have contributed to. In response, they pledged to remove their products, such as their flavored JUULpods from stores where the youth would have easy access. They also have labeled their products as “containing nicotine”.

The Key West High School administration has recognized a growing problem with the use of JUULs in school. It is against school policy to have a JUUL in your possession on school campus.

Additionally, you must be 18 to purchase any product containing nicotine, including JUUL. It is illegal to possess one if you are under the age of 18. Even if you are 18 you cannot have a JUUL or vape of any kind on campus. If you are found with a nicotine dispensing device you are subject to school consequences, in addition to legal ones.

The first time punishment for possession of a nicotine dispensing device, such as JUUL, is 16 hours of community service or a $25 fine. Additionally, students with this violation are required to attend a school approved anti-tobacco and nicotine program.

The “See Something? Say Something!” initiative applies to JUULs. If you see suspicious activity on campus, report it to a school official.

The school punishment for possessing any part of a nicotine vaping apparatus is 3 days suspension. A 10-day suspension is the punishment for other possession of another illegal substance. You get a law citation for nicotine and jail time for other illegal substances.

Two students were asked to comment on vaping in school who wished to be anonymous.

One student said that they’ve seen people JUULing in the bathroom multiple times, “I think that the school should be educating students on why you shouldn’t JUUL”. There are multiple posters and flyers hanging around campus warning students of the dangers of JUUL.

Another student said, “In class, I’ve seen someone pull out a JUUL and show their friend. I’ve heard students asking their friends for chargers for their JUULs.”

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