Juuls popularity blows up amongst teenagers

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WHILE a junior that we will call Mary is at work one day, she notices her coworkers using this small rather long flash drive looking device, called a Juul.

“I’ve seen them advertised before but I first started to see them around work,” junior Mary said.

Junior Dasia Smith’s mother was the one who first told her about Juuls.

“My mom started talking to me about them a month or two ago because she knew how easily accessible they were,” Smith said.

Juuls have been on the market only for about two years and are a new type of e-cigarette. They are supposed to be an alternative to smoking. While Juuls are supposed to be an alternative to smoking there has been research that proves that Juuls are actually more harmful. A single Juul pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.

“I think that it’s original purpose, to allegedly help people stop smoking cigarettes because of the nicotine, isn’t being met,” Smith said. “I know of people that smoke through two or three pods a day after only smoking one pack of cigarettes every two days.”

The popularity of Juuls among teenagers seem to have risen Smith, Mary and a senior we will call Rory seem to have different opinions on to why that is.

“Personally I believe it is a temporary trend,” Rory said. “People thought it looked cool and honestly since it isn’t very hard to obtain it just made it more appealing to teens.”

Smith agrees with Rory but also believes nicotine plays a role in the popularity of Juuls.

“They contain nicotine,” Smith said “And it [nicotine] can be addictive.”

Mary seems to think that stress is a factor when it come to why teens use Juuls.

“People see it as a healthier alternative to other things,” Mary said. “I feel like it’s mostly to help relieve stress as people around my age suffer a lot of that.”

Although Rory is aware of the dangerous of Juuls she still experiences a sense of wonder.

“I know that Juuls can be very addictive and I have never tried a Juul but I feel like my sense of wonder is strong,” Rory said. “What I mean by that is that I would like to try a Juul and I feel as if eventually I will because I am around them all the time.”

According to Mary when she has only tried a Juul once due to the cost and health aspect of it.

“It [the Juul] gives off a strong nicotine buzz and helps a lot with stress,” Mary said. “[But] I knew it could be harmful in the long run and also cost quite a bit of money.”

The idea of trying a Juul has never come across Smith’s mind for a couple of reasons.

“I have never even considered it [trying a Juul] because I am 100% against smoking,” Smith said. “I know that Juuls contain nicotine and whether you start on cigarettes or with a Juul, it’s addictive.”

Work isn’t the only place Mary has seen younger people use Juuls.

“I have a few friends who use them,” Mary said. “[You also seen them] at parties and what not. You don’t exactly think about it [people using Juuls] in the time being.”

Although Rory has seen Juuls being used at parties and her work the place where she sees them more often is social media.

“I always see my friends and their friends posting videos on Snapchat of them smoking,” Rory said. “Many people seem to think that posting a video of themselves smoking is the coolest thing ever and they want everyone to know they use one. Others I think post videos because they think it is cute and it will help them get a date.”

Even though Smith doesn’t like the idea of smoking she holds no judgement for people who do but instead chooses to blame the device.

“I think any form of smoking nicotine is disgusting,” Smith said. “But I won’t judge anyone for a habit they formed or a choice they make because that is entirely their own [business], but I would never choose to smoke Juuls or cigarettes. I choose to judge the product and accessibility of it rather than people who choose to do something, whether I would or not.”

Juuls are a battery operated devices that work by heating a e-liquid pod also known as ‘juice’. These pods contain nicotine and also come in fruity flavors as well as regular  tobacco and mint flavors. Due to how much the popularity of Juuls have risen among teens the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has put a partial ban on the sale of flavored pods.

Even with the FDA ban on flavored pods Mary seems to think that people will still continue to use them.

“I feel like it won’t do a whole lot [of difference],” she said. “If they want the nicotine bad enough they will find a way and perhaps more harmful than the Juuls are already.”

Smith agrees that the popularity won’t reduce due to the ban.

“I don’t think this will reduce popularity because smoking is the think that is glorified whether it be flavored or not,” she said. “Although it may make it less fun for them, I don’t think it will stop them smoking as many have also become addicted to nicotine.”

Rory seems to think that this is just another momentary trend.

“If I am being honest my generation seems to make come up with the most random trends but most don’t tend to last because something new always comes along,” she said.

Just like Rory, Mary also believes that Juuls will no longer be a thing soon enough

“I’m sure like everything else it will go away,” Mary said. “Times are constantly changing so who knows what the future holds.”

Unlike Rory and Mary, Smith thinks that Juuls are here to stay and that they aren’t just another trend due to how much it has been glorified by teens.

“I think as long as people do it more often, the nicotine will actually become addictive and hard to break ,” Smith said.  “iI don’t think that will change as it has already lasted so long.”