Is Vaping Endangering Teens?

JUULs and other e-cigarettes are taking over high schools. Find out the risks.

Is Vaping Endangering Teens?

J-e-w-e-l can be the name of an award-winning singer/songwriter or precious gem. But J-U-U-L has created something much more sinister: An e-cig the size of a flash drive—it charges in a USB port—has 14-year-olds smoking, even in school! JUULs are the latest e-cig craze, and a survey by Truth Initiative found almost 20 percent of teens report seeing a student “JUUL” at school, even though they are only legal if you’re 18 or 21, depending on your locale.

In truth, JUULs are readily available and not just online. Three out of four kids get them by strolling into a retail outlet and putting their money down, no questions asked! The CDC says from 2016 to 2017, sales increased 641 percent from 2.2 million devices to 16.2 million.

Why are they so appealing? They come in flavors like mint, mango, cucumber and fruit—and that makes them sound harmless enough to many kids. But The U.S. Surgeon General says they are powerfully addictive and pose a threat to public health because they are linked to a variety of health woes, from heart diseases to cancer.

So parents, go to the JUUL website and get familiar with these deceptive-looking pods—they resemble something digital that might have class assignments on them. E-cigarettes typically won’t make clothes smell, as tobacco smoke does, so you may not know kids are experimenting with nicotine. And talk to your children about JUUL’s dangers—some believe they’re designed to convert kids to cigarettes—like you would about standard tobacco products.

Medically reviewed in July 2019.

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