Going up in smoke

Juuling in teens causes parental concern

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The only thing growing faster than the mold in the bowl under your bed, is the popularity of Juuling in the United States.

More and more teens across the country are partaking in the national phenomenon of a new form of e-cigarette that is designed to look like a flash drive.

That does not exclude Nebraska or Scottsbluff High School.

A 2018 study found nearly one-fifth of youth (ages 12-17) surveyed reported having seen students using Juuls in their school.

This isn’t just a national trend that hasn’t hit Nebraska. In a story in the Nov. 5 edition in the Kearney Hub, students at Kearney High School and Horizon Middle School in Kearney are reaping the effects of students using their Juuls on school property.

To warn the parents about what has been going on at the school, administrators of the schools have sent out informative newsletters about the harmful effects that e-cigarettes have on adolescents.

There are other districts across the state that are taking preventative measures that are warning parents about the effects of Juuling.

Schools in Nebraska that are taking precaution are Grand Island, Wood River, Sheldon, Gibbon, Mead, and Holdrege, just to name a few.

Recently, some Scottsbluff High School students have faced the consequences of Juuling on property.

According to the school handbook, a first offence of being caught vaping on school property is an automatic three days of in school suspension. The more a student gets caught, the more days they spend in suspension.

“We first became aware of e-cigarettes about three years ago and we didn’t really have a problem with it. The first time we’ve really had a problem with it is this year. I’ve been aware of it but now it has become an epidemic,” said principal Mike Halley.

Historically, we know that young people are prone to seeking out what is popular and jumping on the bandwagon to make themselves feel more relevant. They have little regard to any risks that could be associated with their actions.

The research is overwhelmingly negative when it comes to what happens to the body when nicotine is introduced

One Juul pod has the nicotine equivalent of one pack of cigarettes or 200 cigarette puffs. It has taken the United States decades to convince younger generations of the dangers of smoking, but with the uprise of Juuling, the country is taking a giant step backwards.

One of the conveniences of a Juul is that the exterior looks like a USB drive, so it’s easier for students to hide it in school.

The tobacco industry has packaged the Juul by flavoring the pods, making it more appealing to adolescents.

But, inside the Juul pod is just five ingredients and when they are put together, while they don’t necessarily have complete tobacco in them, take the same amount of time to get into the brain as a cigarette.

Juul pods are made up of benzoic acid, nicotine solution, glycerol, propylene glycol, and food grade flavoring.

To get from the Juul into the body is actually a super easy process that is similar to a cigarette.

The nicotine goes from the initial inhale into the membrane of the lungs where it makes its way into the bloodstream. Then, the nicotine goes to the brain where it binds to neurons in the reward pathway and produces dopamine. Once the feel good chemical is produced, the brain thinks of the nicotine as a good thing and eventually wants more, which is why it is so addictive.

The most important thing to remember with a Juul is that while it is appealing and “healthier” than a cigarette, the effects eventually end up being the same as a cigarette.

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