By Jonathan Gomes
Light weight, highly portable, and extremely addictive are just a few ways to describe the new fad amongst today’s youth known as the “Juul”. The 4-inch by 1-centimeter e-cigarette is sweeping college campus’ and high school hallways nationwide. Essentially, the Juul provides a nicotine fueled head rush using an alarmingly high concentration of the drug found in cigarettes. According to my little brother, a freshman in high school, this relatively knew gadget has taken over the lives of kids as young as 14. Students this young are electing to save up their lunch money to purchase their own Juul rather than eat during the school day in order to achieve this intense head buzz. The scary part about this new substance wave is the unknown. Simply, users are uneducated of the health risks of “Juul-ing”, choosing to ignore them, or tricking themselves into thinking it’s a risk free alternative to using nicotine because it adverts the other substances in cigarettes. Personally I started using the Juul about 4 months ago, and within that time I have bought and lost four Juuls, and have probably bought about a pack of the nicotine pods a week. This means I have spent about $160 on the Juul’s itself, but the pods that contain the nicotine juice costing about $20 per four pack of pods has left me spending a little under $100 per month. The main issue for college students is people drunkenly accepting hits from friends, and eventually finding themselves craving that buzz when they’re intoxicated. Soon enough we find ourselves thinking about that head rush when we are sober as well, but not wanting to smell gross like cigarettes. So the Juul gives us the best of both worlds which is a head rush, and the ability to still converse without smelling like an ashtray. However, from my observation, nearly everybody that buys a Juul, “just for the weekend,” ends up smoking the vapors throughout the weekdays within a few short weeks. I have been thinking about smoking my Juul the whole entire time I’ve been writing this article, but I don’t get paid until tomorrow so I’ll be waiting until my bank account gets replenished. My point is that today’s youth isn’t using this device for the correct reason, we are in fact abusing it. The Juul clearly states on the packaging, “the alternative for adult smokers,” so its technically for adults who already have an addiction to tobacco and no longer want to smoke cigarettes for whatever their reason might be. The way our generation decided to go about it was to just smoke it for the buzz, or maybe just to look cool on campus when you walk around. To those select few that do smoke Juul throughout campus and in class just to look cool, you don’t, so I suggest you quit now before you have a nicotine addiction and a tight budget in order to nurse that addiction. Besides the addiction there are other effects that science has found such as sores in the throats and lungs of the vaporizer users, as well as cancer causing chemicals within the juice. So before trying something new like this make sure you do your research because there is no reason to find yourself dependent on a drug, or any type of substance for that matter.