Teen Smoking Epidemic Reaches our Students

In an effort to reduce teen smoking and Juul use, the FDA has started to put anti-smoking ads on social media. These ads try to prevent teens from smoking and vaping. However, they don’t seem to be working.

According to an anonymous poll on Twitter, 36 percent of NC students polled use a Juul or nicotine device at school. It is difficult to control the craze because the devices are so small and easily concealed.

Nine percent of the students polled on Twitter voted that they have been caught by a teacher or administrator using a Juul or nicotine device. Punishments if caught smoking on school grounds include being suspended for up to three days.

Thirty-nine percent of students polled on Twitter don’t think of Juul or vaping as something bad. As if the health risks and concerns weren’t enough, acting against the law only bothers 61 percent of students polled.

Most kids would say they’ve never touched a cigarette but how different are current e-cigarettes and other devices to the traditional cigarette.

Two anonymous seniors agreed to discuss their personal Juuling habits inside and outside of school.

“I bought and use my Juul because it gives me a buzz,” one female senior said.

There are many different devices that students can use to smoke, not just Juuls.

“I use a Sourin device,” a male senior said.

It is legal for people over the age of 18 to buy their own Juuls and pods, capsules containing nicotine liquid for the Juul. Even if the person is underage an older friend can buy whatever they might need.

“I get all my pods at gas stations or Keystone Smoke and Vapors,” she said.

Sometimes, students try to buy Juuls and other devices, but it doesn’t go well, especially if they aren’t 18 yet.

“Once, I used my brother’s ID at a gas station because he’s 18, and it worked. Then I went back to the same gas station without my ID and they carded me,” he said.

While not all student’s smoking habits continue over into school, some do.

“I don’t usually smoke at school, but sometimes I do if I’m bored. I started it all about a year ago,” she said.

While many students don’t use their Juuls during the day, some do. Sometimes, students even use them during class time.

“I use it like three periods a day. I use it in during lunch and in a class with a teacher who’s more oblivious,” he said.

Despite school rules clearly set in place, students still use Juuls or nicotine devices in class. At school students are away from their parents who may or may not know about their habits.

“My parents don’t know about my Juul and don’t like that kind of stuff in general,” she said.

People can be influenced by their friends who smoke.

“Yeah most of my friends do smoke,” she said.

Once a person starts using any number of nicotine devices, pods and other juices necessary start draining budgets and are used often.

“I go through like one pod every three or four days. More on the weekend usually though,” she said.

Lela Boys-Sibley, Esti Morris

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