The Boston Globe calls Juuling “the most widespread phenomenon you’ve never heard of,” and schools across the country are warning parents of the risks associated with it; but what exactly is Juuling, and how can you tell if your kid is using?
What is Juuling?
Juuling is a discreet form of vaping that is popular among teenagers. The electronic cigarette takes the shape of an elongated flash drive, making it easy to hide from parents and teachers. The Juul typically uses a small pod of nicotine that comes in a variety of flavors, which can make it easy for the user to forget that they are inhaling the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes with each nicotine pod they smoke. Many teens have the impression that there is nothing wrong or dangerous about vaping or using a Juul, however that is simply incorrect. While, long-term safety data on e-cigarettes does not yet exist because it is such a new technology, the use of any form of nicotine is highly addictive and inhaled nicotine increases the user’s heart rate and blood pressure. In addition to that, chronic nicotine exposure may lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
Signs your child may be Juuling
- Sweet or minty smell- Unlike cigarettes, Juuls, and other vaping devices, do not leave behind the lingering smell of tobacco, however if the vapor is flavored you may smell a sudden sweet or minty odor that disappears quickly. Common flavors include: bubble gum, cotton candy, mint, vanilla and fruit punch.
- Unfamiliar gadgets- A Juul resembles a flash drive, and other e-cigs often resemble pens. If you come across a pen that is not a pen or other unfamiliar gadget, be aware that it could be a mechanism for Juuling or vaping. Also, keep an eye out for batteries and chargers- just like you have to charge your smartphone every single day, Juuls and vapes need to be charged on a regular basis.
- Increased thirst- Vapor from e-cigs is made of VG (Vegetable Glycerin), PG (Propylene Glycol), and flavors. The chemical characteristics of PG make it attract water molecules from its surroundings. When vapor enters the mouth, PG does its trick and keeps the vapor in a state of dry mouth.