Have You Heard of "JUULing?"
JUULs with the act of “JUULing” are the latest version of electronic cigarettes and a fast growing trend among youth. The JUUL e-cigarette stands apart from others in its clever and often deceiving design which makes it look just like a typical USB flash drive or charger. The JUUL pen breaks down into two pieces, the shell and the pod. The shell is the mechanism by which the vapor is heated and delivered, the pod contains the nicotine and flavored vapor. Together, the JUUL pen looks just like your average USB flash drive. It even charges when plugged into a USB socket on your laptop or wall charger.
Students are using e-cigarettes, and most recently JUULs as first time consumers of nicotine in rapidly rising rates. The JUUL e-cigarette is a favorite among school-aged youth due to the difficulty in adults discovering them. In their own words, youth say they are using JUULs “because it’s just easier to get away with at school” and “it looks just like a USB charger.”
We encourage parents to become familiar with JUUL e-cigarette and invite an open, frank discussion with your child about the effects of nicotine and vaping. Invite them to share their understanding of the devices, the effects, the risks, and the conversations youth are having around the topic. By exploring this issue with your child, you have the opportunity to foster independent decision making while teaching how to become better informed about personal health and how to resist peer pressure. As part of that discussion, you may also identify other healthful ways to gain the desired effects that smoking, e-cigarettes, and other substances provide. In the end, youth are going to make their own decisions about their behaviors; as adults, we can partner with them to model, educate, and support making healthy decisions.
Parents must stay informed regarding new devices being marketed. Speak with other parents, share information, read about the subject, and be available for your child and other children who may need a trusted adult to help guide their choices.
You can find additional information about e-cigarettes and "JUULing" online. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a full report on electronic cigarettes. The CDC concludes that there is enough evidence to justify efforts to prevent e-cigarette use by young people. There have been numerous news reports on "JUULing" including this one by a recent local television station: Are your kids JUULing at school?
Healthy Minds is for parents, educators, and community-based providers who are interested in supporting student mental health and wellness. It represents a collaboration between FCPS’ Office of Intervention and Prevention Services and the Fairfax County Government. SUBSCRIBE to Healthy Minds and receive a monthly digest of our most recent articles.