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Juuls are not cool

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Juuls are not cool

LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

Vivian Tran, Staff Writer

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The rising number of teens using Juuls/nicotine vaporizers is exponentially increasing. As Juuls and other nicotine based vapes are popping up out of nowhere, this seemingly innocent electronic pod brings the spotlight onto its disfavored predecessor: cigarettes.

Numerous studies have shown how e-cigs are not as consequence-free as they advertise to be. In these studies, it is apparent that people that use e-cigs have a higher chance of becoming addicted to cigarettes in the future and teens are especially at risk. The age to purchase and use e-cigarettes and other nicotine products should be raised.

The age to purchase nicotine products is commonly the age of 18. However, 18 is too young and those who buy nicotine products at a young age do not have a full understanding of the decision that they are making. According to the Standford’s Children Hospital, research has shown that adults (25+) and teens have differences in how their brains function. Adults think with their prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for good judgement and awareness of long-term consequences, while teens tend to process information using their amygdala, the part of the brain that responds emotionally. Though it may be legal for teens 18+ to purchase products with nicotine and tobacco, it is not the wisest decision considering the fact that the brain is not fully matured until around the age of 25 and teens may not fully comprehend the risks of addiction that they are facing until then.

Impressionable teens are not able to understand the risks of using these nicotine products. An article from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine claims that

“In 2014, approximately one out of four 8th and 10th grade students who used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days had also smoked a conventional cigarette; looking at those in 12th grade, that figure rises to more than half.”

This shows how this epidemic is becoming more common than ever. These young teens who have used e-cigarettes are more likely to turn to using conventional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are getting more and more common among teens, especially underage teens. Their preferred choice of nicotine, Juuls.

Juuls are a sleek e-cigarette that one can just tuck away in their pocket until their next nicotine intake. Nearly half of the students who participated in the conducted survey have admitted to using Juuls and/or other e-cigarettes underage. 77 percent of those who participated in the survey believe that using such products can lead to nicotine dependence in the future. 30 percent of respondents have voted “likely” to using nicotine products in the future.

Though there is a high amount of people who understand the risks of nicotine addiction, many students are still interested in using products containing nicotine. The reason behind this is not only the fact that they are not mature enough to process the risks, but also how students nationwide have made a “meme” of Juul-ing and glamorizing the usage. Students feel the sense of connection, belonging, and feel “grown” in participating in something that they should not be doing

The infamous company, Juul, states that its mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers. The emphasis is on adult smoker. Their products should not be used by developing teens. The company also states the consequences of using their products, saying

“These alternatives contain nicotine, which has not been shown to cause cancer but can create dependency. We believe that these alternatives are not appropriate for people who do not already smoke”.

Even the company itself, which benefits from the sales and the use of their product, encourages those who do not smoke already, including many teens, to not use their products underage.

The use of e-cigarettes among teens is rising and in correlation, so is the number of teens using conventional cigarettes. The age to legally purchase these products should be raised to the age where young people are more mature and aware of the repercussions of using products that contain nicotine.

Working to make progress

Here at Renton High School, ASB is actively working to combat Juul and Vape use among students. They have been getting the message out, mainly with posters hung in the girls and boys bathroom, with sayings like, “Some of the most disgusting things in these bathrooms can be found in that vape,” and other things to deter students.

About the Writer
Vivian Tran, Staff Writer

My name is Vivian Tran, and I am a sophomore student at Renton High School.

I am a first year Journalism student. I don't particularly enjoy writing,...

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