“Juuling”: An Update on Teens and E-cigarettes
Staying current on teenage trends is a fleeting task – as soon as we learn about one, they’re onto something else. However, there is one trend that I want to flag for parents if you haven’t heard about it already: “Juuling.”
A Juul is an e-cigarette that looks like a flash drive. I’ve written about why e-cigarette use in teens is concerning in a previous blog post, if you’d like a refresher. Essentially, they are potentially neurotoxic and addictive. The trend evolved, and last year we learned that some teens were “dripping” with e-cigarettes, which is a more potent vaping method.
Juuling is essentially vaping with a new product. What concerns me, as a parent of teens and a pharmacist in the Drug and Poison Information Center, is that teens are continuing to use these devices and in new ways. What’s more, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently found that e-cigarette use among teens is associated with future cigarette use.
I’d like to share what I’ve learned about juuling, so that more parents are informed:
5 Things Parents Need To Know About Juuling
It contains dangerous levels of nicotine
It may actually contain more nicotine than cigarettes. In fact, it is estimated that one pod is equivalent to a whole pack of cigarettes.
It may have leaking issues
There are reports of the e-liquid leaking from the device during use. This is concerning because the e-liquid is a neurotoxin and if ingested or absorbed through the skin, it could cause harmful side effects. Symptoms could vary from mild symptoms, such as vomiting, sweating or dizziness to the more severe overdose symptoms, such as seizures or muscle weakness.
It may be easily accessible
It is available for purchase online. However, some, not all, sites have started requiring an age verification process.
Because the juul looks like a flash drive, it’s easy to dismiss as something innocuous. It’s so discreet, in fact, that some news outlets have reported students doing it in class.
It’s appealing for the same reasons as e-cigarettes
Most notably, it’s slick looking and comes in appealing fruity flavors.
I recommend adding “juuling” to your list of things to talk to your teens about. Aside from my concerns listed above, I am worried that teens may think that e-cigarettes and juuling are harmless. Quite the opposite is true. Anything that contains nicotine has the potential to be harmful and addictive to teens.