Juuling Popularized by High School Students

Kendyl Beam, Editor-in-Chief, Staff Writer

  Watch out cigarettes, Juuls may just bump you out of the top spot for the most common way to smoke. Since Juuls went on the market in 2015, Juuls have become more and more popular for people of all ages.

  According to TruthInitiative.org, one Juul pod contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes. But why are Juuls so popular? A big part of their popularity is the fact that people think Juuls are safer than smoking cigarettes. Juul pods contain only five ingredients, and cigarettes do give out more toxins. Cigarettes contain ingredients such as tar, acetone, butane, nicotine and dozens more. However, Juuls do still contain nicotine, a known addictive substance. According to Cosmosmagazine.com, nicotine is five to ten times more potent than cocaine in producing a psychological high.

  “It is an addictive thing, there is no point to them,” English teacher Frank Thomas said. “They’re super popular and I know that a lot of students Juul.”

  In a study conducted by TruthInitiative.org, nearly 1 in 5 middle and high schoolers have seen a Juul being used in school. Juuls have become a youth epidemic, leading to nicotine addictions in the younger generation.

   According to Oregon law, you have to be 21 or older in order to buy tobacco products, so how do high schoolers get ahold of them? In this part of Oregon, right across the river from Washington, it is very easy to buy a Juul in Washington where you only have to be 18.

  Juuls can also be purchased online or from older friends. If purchasing online, you have to agree to being over 21 and send a scanned copy of your I.D. People can easily use an I.D from someone over 21.

  In high school, there is always the pressure to be ‘cool’ or to ‘fit in’. Juuling has a lot to do with peer pressure. If a student sees another student at school using these, it makes them more likely to want to try it. Companies use flavors to be able to draw in more customers, especially teens. Fun flavors like mango, cucumber and other fruity combinations are attractive to many teens.

  “I think a big part of why teens Juul is because of the social aspect,”  mother of five Kimberly Blegen says. “You are more willing to do something if people around you are doing it.”

  Studies show that Juuls are in fact safer than smoking cigarettes, but just because something is safer, doesn’t mean it is safe. As long as this Juul epidemic continues, more and more people are getting exposed to nicotine and other bad chemicals.

  Teens at Gresham High School use Juuls all the time, even during school. The most common place to use a Juul during school is in the bathrooms since there are no cameras. However, many don’t want to see “juulers” in the bathroom because the bathrooms already stink and this seems dirty.

  Juuling while at school comes with punishments.  “We see a lot of evidence at school that people Juul,” GHS security officer Gleason said. “Since it is a tobacco product, there is a certain code for using on school grounds,” Officer Gleason said.

  On your first offense using a tobacco product on campus, you will get a 1-3 day suspension and a parent conference. On your second offense, you will have a parent conference and a 3-5 day suspension. Finally, on the third offense, you will get another parent conference, up to a 10-day suspension and a possible expulsion.  

 While a lot of teens participate in the Juul epidemic, Juuls aren’t for every student. Just because many students use juuls, doesn’t mean everyone has a favorable view of them. Many still see them as a disgusting habit like smoking.

  “I don’t think it is a smart thing to do, especially during school. They’re not cool to me,’ sophomore Eli Lofgren said.