Juul epidemic hits Lawrence student body

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Juul epidemic hits Lawrence student body

Juuls have popped up throughout the LHS student body. The trendy e-cigarette uses nicotine salts and comes in a variety of flavors targeted towards teens. The FDA is calling the use of Juuls among teens an epidemic.

Juuls have popped up throughout the LHS student body. The trendy e-cigarette uses nicotine salts and comes in a variety of flavors targeted towards teens. The FDA is calling the use of Juuls among teens an epidemic.

Emily Kruse

Juuls have popped up throughout the LHS student body. The trendy e-cigarette uses nicotine salts and comes in a variety of flavors targeted towards teens. The FDA is calling the use of Juuls among teens an epidemic.

Emily Kruse

Emily Kruse

Juuls have popped up throughout the LHS student body. The trendy e-cigarette uses nicotine salts and comes in a variety of flavors targeted towards teens. The FDA is calling the use of Juuls among teens an epidemic.

By Sophie Kaufman, Staff Writer

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With the breakout of Juul use among teens, information is now being provided on the topic in health classes.

Juuls have only been around for three years, but vapes have been around for a decade. Research on the effects of the devices remains limited, and there are also limitedregulations on what can be contained in these electronic nicotine delivery systems.

Recently, a speaker form the Kansas Department of Health and Environment talked to the freshman health classes about Juuls and their contents.

“One thing to remember is that this stuff isn’t regulated by the FDA,” Youth Prevention Program Manager at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Jordan Roberts said. “People can put whatever they want in these products, technically. More often than not, there will always be propylene, glycerin and nicotine. There are products that claim that they don’t have nicotine in them, but there are so many instances where they have taken the e-juice and tested it, and it still had nicotine in it.”

Other ingredients that have been found in these devices are heavy metals such as nickel, tin, lead and benzoic acid, which can be found in bug spray.

There are more than 15,000 vape flavors available for Juuls. Flavors like cool cucumber, creme brulee, cool mint and fruit medley are just a few of them.

“Something really interesting about the flavors they’re using is they’re using flavoring that have been approved for human ingestion; they have not been approved for human inhalation,” Roberts said. “Your gut and your lungs are two very different things, and your gut can take a lot more than your lungs can. Your lungs are very delicate. A lot of these flavors are not approved for human inhalation, let alone all the other things that are bad. The flavorings are even harmful to your body.”

Health teacher Donald Durkin believes having access to this information is vital to being able to make totally healthy and informative decisions.

“I think whenever you have information, you can make a choice one way or another, whether you are talking about vaping or drinking or whatever,” Durkin said. “If you have the right information, at least you can make a good decision for yourself.

Many adults are still unaware of the impact of Juuling, apart from general discussions about other harmful substances.

“We do discuss drugs and alcohol in our class,” health teacher Adam Green said. “We bring in a guest speaker and that is how we are delivering that content. I have come across it here at school, and I think it’s more of an issue than adults in our building are wanting to admit.”

With the recent declaration from the FDA calling it an “epidemic,” efforts by the federal government to educate youth have come in the form of  “The Real Cost” campaign.

“I think it’s a new thing and maybe kids don’t have enough information and understanding about vaping; I know I don’t,” Durkin said. “There’s a lot of information that is fairly new, and we don’t have good information about it yet, and we need to get as much as we can so kids can make good decisions about doing it.”