Think JUUL is CUUL?


Kevin Eviner

“To vape, or not to vape?” This was the question students were left with after the informative assembly held on Jan. 22
Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School administrators held the assembly for the junior class, in order to educate students about vapes and electronic cigarettes. Brought to the school by the organization, Tobacco Free For A Healthy New Jersey, the presenter showed the junior class a slideshow about the dangers of vaping and the problems that come with it.
The majority of the presentation focused on nicotine addiction, poisoning from e-cigarettes and how students can be prone to both due to misconceptions about mods and JUULs.
Though most of the assembly was taken as a joke amongst the student body, interesting points were still brought up by the organization’s representative. For instance, some students were surprised or intrigued to know that a JUUL pod has the nicotine equivalent to a pack of cigarettes (20). Many students were also interested to learn that there has not been conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes actually help people quit smoking cigarettes, because e-cigarettes only entered the U.S. in 2007 and scientists can’t know the long term effects of using such devices.
Another point brought to students’ attention was e-cigarette companies’ advertising methods and their intentional targeting of children. The presenter showed advertisements from these companies, which insinuating that students using vapes are productive, in that they have a to-do lists that have both studying and “vape time”. These ads were paid for by big tobacco companies, who have bought over small vape and e-cigarette companies so they can still make a profit in the evolving industry.
The presentation also stressed the concern that students could fall victim to “popcorn lung”, also known as bronchiolitis, which can be contracted through aggravation of the throat and lungs by inhaling diacetyl. This chemical is commonly found in flavorings for JUUL pods and other oils, along with lead, nickel and formaldehyde.
Nicotine poisoning was also a concern brought up in the assembly. Nicotine poisoning can occur when vape oils are ingested by someone. According to the presentation, in 2014 the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) received 4,024 calls about nicotine poisoning. It’s important to not ingest JUUL pods or vape oil to avoid serious illness.
The presentation shared many alarming facts but the overarching theme was this important piece of information from the administration: there are serious repercussions if a student is caught with any vapes or oils in school. It will lead to a three-day suspension and a drug test which, if positive, can allow the school to force counseling and a call to a guardian.
Pax Labs, creators of Juul, contacted The Fanscotian about this article sending the following statement.
“JUUL Labs’ mission is to eliminate cigarette smoking by offering existing adult smokers with a better alternative to combustible cigarettes. JUUL is not intended for anyone else. We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product.
Our goal is to further reduce the number of minors who possess or use tobacco products, including vapor products, and to find ways to keep young people from ever trying these products. We approach this with a combination of education, enforcement, technology and partnership with others who are focused on this issue, including lawmakers, educators and our business partners.
Nicotine is addictive. An individual who has not previously used nicotine products should not start, particularly youth. Recent science raises serious concerns about the adverse effect of nicotine on adolescent neurodevelopment.
We encourage parents to talk with their children about the dangers of nicotine. As a company we also continuously seek ways to contribute to this dialogue and knowledge base.”