Schools seeing increase in JUUL use among middle, high students

Courtesy of CBS Newspath

 

NEW YORK — If you have never heard of a JUUL, ask a teenager what it is. In videos all over social media, more teenagers are using this new vaping device at school and the problem is reportedly nationwide.

“The kids doing it in my high school are not discreet about it at all,” said high school senior Abby Bernstein.

“They can be at home, at school, at any place, plug it in, and no one would know,” explained Dr. Mila Vascones-Gatski with Arlington Schools in Virginia.

The JUUL is a new e-cigarette that resembles a USB flash drive and is small enough to fit into a marker. On their website, the company said the product is intended for adult smokers above the age of 21 and issue a reminder that it’s illegal to sell or resell it to minors.

That hasn’t stopped teens from getting their hands on it.

“It has a cool factor—kids are attracted to it. It’s very easy to conceal, it’s affordable, and in terms of smell it doesn’t give much of a smell so parents can’t detect it,” Dr. Vascones- Gatski told CBS News.

She said JUUL is changing how middle and high school students vape. Last year, she confiscated one e-cigarette in six months. This year, that number has gone up to two per week.

“This year, all of them have been JUULS. We haven’t found… maybe just one different vape.”

Like many e-cigarettes , nicotine pods for JUUL come in catchy flavors like creme brulee and mango. One pod is equivalent to smoking about one pack of cigarettes.

While many would say e-cigarettes aren’t as bad, Doctor John Spangler cautions the long-term effects of vaping are not known.

“Since nicotine alters the way the brain develops, we are concerned about adolescents and even young adults using these products while there brain is still forming.”

On their website the makers of JUUL say they are committed to combating underage use of their product.

Dr. Vascones-Gatski said she’s getting the word out about JUUL so these devices don’t end up in the hands of children.