The tales of makeshift ecstasy labs in school bathrooms are over. As America has tapped the notion of self-indulgence and instant gratification, teens in our country have kept apace – flushing the stereotype of cocaine-filled toilets out of the school paradigm and into the nostalgia of the 90s.
With numerous health courses in high schools focused on ‘old-time’ cigarettes and marijuana, teenagers have uncovered a new method to “unwinding” in school, with a lower risk of administrative apprehension – JUULing – and the potential consequences that it has on young adults’ health is shocking.
As the popularity for hard addictive substances like cocaine and meth are on the decline, and as health consciousness and financial hardship is on the rise, many teens resort to using JUULs, a USB stick-shaped device originally created to provide adult cigarette smokers with an alternative to cigarettes. However, many public health advocates outcry the intention, given the proliferation of the “e-vape” paraphernalia in schools across the country and the carefree attitudes of many teens who utilize it on a daily basis.
“Half the school… has one” is what one student said on Megyn Kelly’s NBC morning program. As this issue continues to spread across the nation, students in Los Angeles are far from the exclusivity of this product’s avoidance.
In the public-school system in Los Angeles, witnessing a student puff and blow the vapor from the device into their jacket would not be out of the ordinary, but neither would the charging of an e-cigarette on a school’s laptop. With the widespread nature of the JUUL phenomenon, one Boston-based psychologist says that every single teenage client that he sees uses a JUUL, according to the Boston Globe.
After Forthwrite Magazine asked Angeleno student users about their JUUL usage, one student talked about a euphoric “head rush” – which occurs only for about 10 seconds and leaves students wanting more, even as physicians are signaling their alarm.
With flavors like “Crème Brulee” and “Cool Cucumber” that entice high schoolers, NBC News Medical Correspondent Dr. John Torres calls this device “not safe,” in that the egregious nicotine levels (1 JUUL Pod being equivalent to 200 cigarettes) have the capacity to create addiction, and potentially form a pathway from JUULs to cigarettes.
While the FDA cracks down on minors’ JUUL usage through a “large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz,” the Los Angeles Unified School District released a statement to Forthwrite Magazine that said, “The District has partnered with our legislators to support laws that prohibit the location of tobacco shops next to schools.” LAUSD also said that they, as the second largest school district in the nation, have partnered with organization that perform clandestine operations in schools, through the use of high school students as the “bate.”
The District also reported that they are pursuing a grant from California’s DOJ to support the efforts of school police on doubling down on “problematic retailers” near school facilities.
As the JUULing epidemic persists in our nation’s communities, individuals continue to grapple with the newfound challenges that e-cigarettes and other fads bring to America’s youth.