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Juuling: A Complete Overview

Ian Miller, Staff

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Juuling is the newest teenage frenzy to take over schools and their bathrooms. The dangerous nicotine-vape device is sweeping the nation and still gaining popularity. It’s easy to use, easy to find, and, most importantly, easy to get away with.

Kids are curious, parents are concerned, and schools are on the prowl.

Well, what is it?

Juuls are a new e-cigarette vape device that contains extremely high amounts of nicotine. Juuling is meant to be an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Juul Labs Inc. states, “With its unique satisfaction profile, simple interface, flavor variety and lack of lingering smell, JUUL stands out as a genuinely satisfying vapor alternative for adult smokers.” The Juul vaporizer almost looks like a USB flash drive. Ironically, a Juul can be charged by plugging it into a laptop. The e-liquid can be flavored from Virginia Tobacco to Cool Cucumber to Crème Brulee to Mango.

What is the appeal?

To start, Juuls are marketed almost as if they would like to attract teenagers due to its “cool” factor and enticing flavors. The device itself is sleek and available in multiple colors. And, of course, the main appeal is the “Nic Buzz.” Juul pods can also be tampered with. Some users going as far as adding THC extracts, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

What is a nicotine buzz?

Immediately after entering the body, nicotine enters the blood stream. Within 10 seconds, the nicotine reaches the brain, effectively releasing adrenaline creating a head rush and buzz of pleasure and energy. However, once this buzz wears off, users will be compelled to smoke more and repeat the cycle. This can and will lead to addiction.

How much nicotine do Juul Pods contain?

Each individual Juul Pod contains 0.7 ML with 5% nicotine. Which is approximately equivalent to 200 cigarette puffs or in other terms one whole pack of cigarettes.

How much do they cost?

The street price of each individual pod is typically $4 to $7. Pods are sold, legally, in packs of 4 for $15.99 A pod can last from a day to a week depending on usage. The device is typically sold in the “Juul Starter Kit” for $49.99. This “Starter Kit” contains a Juul Device, USB charger, 4 pods, and even a 1 year-device warranty.

How are underage users getting their hands on them?

Some directly get them from older siblings, but the majority of Juul users buy pods from other kids. These “dealers” are acquiring pods from people older than 21.

One student stated “My plug buys them at the High’s, the one on the way to Ellicott City. He buys a pack and then sells me the pods for$ 5 a piece. Usually, I’ll use them. Other times, I’ll sell to other kids. $5 if we’re tight. $6 or $7 if I don’t know them too well.”

Students typically begin using after trying other students’ Juuls.

One student stated, “I tried a friend of mine’s and I really liked it. Now I use it daily, or whenever I have pods.”

What are the health concerns?

Around the nation doctors are warning parents and kids about Juul e-cigarette devices. Although Juuls don’t contain the 60 carcinogens that cigarettes have, they have very high levels of nicotine (which provides the buzz). Nicotine is scientifically proven to be linked to gastric, pancreatic, gallbladder, liver, colon, breast, cervical, urinary bladder and kidney cancers, as well as small-cell and other lung carcinomas. Other studies have shown that exposure to nicotine as a child and teen can lead to lifelong effects due to nicotine’s harm to developing brains.

What are users Saying?

“I love it. The nic buzz is great. I also love how concealed and easy it is to hide,” one student stated.

Another student stated, “It helps me relax, yet at the same time it can energize me. I’d use it before games and practices.”

One student went as far to say, “It helped me stop smoking weed. I Juul in the place of weed now.”

The vast majority of kids recognize a major difference between Juuls and cigarettes.

“Cigs are nasty. Juuling doesn’t have all of those awful chemicals and ingredients that cigarettes have.”

How many kids are using?

There are no official estimates.

One student stated, “Around 15% of the high school kids I know own one or participate.”

Another student interjected, “It’s more like 20 or 25%.”

What disciplinary actions can be taken against a user if it is found on public school property?

The majority of schools’ disciplinary actions range from detention to a suspension and a letter home to a tobacco education class. Baltimore County is among this majority.

“We treat them the same as cigarettes because they are a nicotine substance. We typically confiscate the device and give them to their parents because they are legal for adult use,” assistant principal Eiswert stated. He continued, explaining that “disciplinary actions can range from detention to suspension, depending on the situation.” He added, “We’ve had minimal encounters with these devices”. He attributed this to the lack of a lingering smell and smoke.

However, some school systems are adopting more drastic measure. In states such as North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington, and Connecticut, Juuls are being categorized with bongs, bowls, and pipes, meaning students caught possessing Juuls could face long suspensions and potentially expulsion along with “possession of drug paraphernalia” added to their permanent school record.

*** All student interviews are completely anonymous.

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Juuling: A Complete Overview