There is a growing epidemic among high schoolers, especially in New York City. The problem has grown so big that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have attempted to silence it. This rampant issue is juuling, an electronic cigarette.
When you walk into a bathroom in my school, you notice one particular smell. It’s not the pungent smell of any usual public bathroom. Instead, it smells sickly sweet. Almost as if someone poured fruit juice all over the floor. Some may wonder why, but I immediately know the reason: juuling. As I’m using the bathroom, I see the telltale trail of smoke snaking its way to the ceiling. I shake my head in dismay as I make my way around the kids juuling in the bathroom and to the sink.
What is a juul, some may ask. It’s an e-cigarette that looks like a long flash drive. It uses a pod system (conveniently named Juul pods) that comes in all different flavors, ranging from mango to creme brulee. These pods contain 5% nicotine, and although it may not seem like much, each individual pod contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Aside from Juul pods sold by the the actual company, there are other pods as well that come in, you guessed it, other flavors. EON pods, for example, come in pineapple, grape, etc. The worst part is that these third party pods may contain even more nicotine than their original counterparts.
In the eyes of a teacher or a parent, it may seem like a harmless flash drive. Multiple teachers have seen mine before (when I used to own one) and thought that it was a harmless flash drive. It’s easy to deceive adults, but I bet you that every single teen knows what a juul is. Its slick and simple design allows kids to decorate it by engraving it with something as simple as a pen and a pocket knife. There are even protective sleeves that people can buy to further decorate their juul.
Unlike others, I knew when to stop and when to quit. I threw mine out when I realized that I was slowly getting addicted and I had to stop before I took it too far. However, the sheer level of vaping that goes on in my school is quite astounding. Who would ever think that a school that is supposed to be one of the top high schools in New York would be plagued by juuling? I know so many students that try to quit and simply can’t because they’re already addicted to nicotine.
The problem is growing to the point that the administration of many different schools are taking action, but that doesn’t seem to hinder kids. When a dean or teacher makes his/her way into the bathroom, you will always find a student warns the others to hide their electronic cigarettes. This is such a problem that at the renowned Bronx Science High School of Science, the administration shut down half of the bathrooms to crack down on juuling.
It’s shocking that something that was meant to help adult smokers quit has grown to become such an epidemic among teens. The trendy and accessible vaping device has become a social issue causing strife between administrators, parents, and students all over. Something needs to be done to halt this nation wide pandemic.