E-Cigarettes, Vaping, and Juuling -- the new epidemic targeting middle and high schoolers
According to the Center for Disease Control, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among both middle and high school students. The FDA reports that currently 3.5 million middle and high school students regularly vape, and since last year, this dangerous trend is up 80% in high school students and 50% in middle school students. These statistics are both staggering and scary.
Flavored e-cigarette products and trendy new vaping devices like Juul are luring teenagers away from smoking cigarettes but keeping them hooked on nicotine. Vaping is also often sold as a “safer” alternative to cigarettes, and some teens are under the false assumption that because e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco they’re safe.
'Juuling' ("jeweling") refers to the Juul-brand device used to vape these nicotine juices. Juul looks like a USB flash drive and is easy to hide, comes in sweet flavors like mango and fruit medley, and delivers a powerful dose of nicotine, putting kids at greater risk of addiction. How powerful? One Juul of juice has more nicotine than an entire pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes. Important to note: the covers of e-cigarettes/Juuls are not child-proof. Inhalation of the e-cigarette aerosol by small children can result in serious injury or death.
From City of Pierz Police Chief Eric Hanneken: "Given the alarming spike in e-cigarette use among Minnesota youth, we need to do everything we can to address this crisis. This work requires direct participation of parents, educators, and law enforcement to help direct teenagers away from this new addiction. It is proven that early nicotine use increases the risks of addiction for youth now and later in life. These e-cigarette manufacturers are directly targeting youth with the sale of many different flavors such as watermelon, strawberry, mango, and many more. So far this year alone, the Pierz Police Department has investigated 9 tobacco related complaints at the Pierz Healy High School, and most of these are youth utilizing e-cigarettes. Whoever sells tobacco, tobacco-related devices, or electronic delivery devices to a person under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor for the first violation. Whoever possesses, smokes, chews, or otherwise ingests, purchases, or attempts to purchase tobacco, tobacco-related devices, or electronic delivery devices and is under the age of 18 years is guilty of a petty misdemeanor. As parents, it's time to step up and educate your teen and direct them down a healthy road before they begin to experiment with worse drugs: marijuana, meth, cocaine, and heroin."
What Can Parents Do?
Make it clear to your son or daughter that you don’t approve of them vaping or using e-cigarettes, no matter what. If you think your son or daughter is vaping, take a deep breath and set yourself up for success by creating a safe, open and comfortable space to start talking with your son or daughter. As angry or frustrated as you feel, keep reminding yourself to speak and listen from a place of love, support and concern. Explain to them that young people who use THC or nicotine products in any form, including e-cigarettes or vaporizers, are uniquely at risk for long-lasting effects. Because these substances affect the development of the brain’s reward system, continued use can lead to addiction (the likelihood of addiction increases considerably for those who start young), as well as other health problems.
You want your child to be as healthy as possible. Find out why vaping might be attractive to your son or daughter, and work with him or her to replace it with a healthier behavior. (from https://drugfree.org/parent-blog/the-teen-vaping-trend-what-parents-need-to-know/)