LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) -If you don’t know what juuling is, your kids probably do. Its an e-cigarette that’s exploding in popularity.
A Juul is a form of e-cigarette. It comes in all different flavors and looks similar to a USB drive. It came out just a few years ago, but it already accounts for 3 quarters of all e-cigarette sales these days. Sandy Foster, Healthy Living Program Director at CCMH, says the concerning part for her, is that it’s popularity is skyrocketing among the youth.
“Most of the kids, when you ask them what’s in this? They don’t know it contains nicotine,” Foster said. “They’ll tell you they use it because they like the flavor of it.”
It comes in several different flavors from fruit medley, mango, cool mint and even creme brulee. One pod contains about 200 puffs, or 1 pack of cigarettes.
“The evidence that’s coming out now shows that kids who use these kind of devices are 4 times more likely to begin using combustible tobacco, or smoking,” Foster said.
Foster says she’s had students tell her they’ve even been able to sneak them into school, and even use them during class when their teachers look away.
Dr. Richard Brittingham, an internal medicine physician, says with e-cigarettes, the nicotine has to be vaporized. And that process, creates unwanted chemicals that can be dangerous.
“It basically forms 3 different substances,” Dr. Brittingham said. “One of them is carbonyl. One of them is formaldehyde. And one is acetaldehyde. All potentially carcinogenic. So who wants to put that in their lungs?”
For parents, Foster and Brittingham say be open and honest with your kids, and talk to them about what the trends are in their school and how NOT to give in to peer pressure.
And for the kids...
“You’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of addiction, disease, and death,” Foster said. “They’re expensive, and more than that, they cost you in life.”
“Find friends who aren’t going to drag you down,” Dr. Brittingham said. “Hang out with people who are not going to make you fail or help you fail.”
Currently these devices are being sold online, and in retail stores.