The Cardinal Times

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PPS changes use of JUULs at school to an automatic suspension

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Juul, an E-cigarette, is a 15 billion dollar company and over the past two years has become an essential school supply to many students, along with other popular E-Cig brands like the Sauron Drop or Phix.

In Oregon, the minimum age to purchase or use E-cigs or tobacco products changed last year from 18 to 21 in an effort by the state to make these products harder for minors to obtainon, but Juul and many other companies have only grown larger .

Responding to rising teen E-cig use, on Sept. 12, the FDA put the E-cigarette industry under great scrutiny when they threatened to ban E-cigarette products from the five largest manufacturers if they failed to present a plan to control teen use in 60 days. In addition, more than 1,100 E-Cig retailers were presented with warnings from the FDA for their role in the increased use of these products by teenagers.

We cannot allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine. In the coming weeks, we’ll take additional action under our Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to immediately address the youth access to, and the appeal of, these products,” says FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

The FDA believes that it is the flavor, design and ability to use discreetly that led to Juul controlling 71% of the E-cig market. Juul sells pods of nicotine vapor equivalent to one pack of cigarettes in nicotine content. They have creme brulee, tobacco, and fruit medley flavors as well as mint, cucumber, and mango which are the most popular flavors.

“I think they’re popular because of the flavors, the idea of tricks, the vapor that looks cool, and the effects of head rushes. If Juul gets banned there will always be something else. I honestly wouldn’t care if it was banned,” said an anonymous sophomore who owns a Juul.

In an effort to combat use at school, Lincoln administration recently changed the punishment for getting caught with a Juul at school to an automatic suspension and drug hearing with the school.

“I’m not trying to go and catch people, it’s just me walking in [the bathroom] and they’ll be puffing on it,” says Campus Monitor Frank Acosta.  

In their inception, E-cigs were created to provide a healthier alternative for people who were already addicted to cigarettes. The unintended result of soaring teen use was not expected.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), seven of every ten teens has been exposed to E-cig advertising at some point in their lives. Additionally, teens are 30% more likely to start smoking cigarettes within six months of using an E-cig, creating possible lifelong addicts.

Some kids draw the line between the Juul and cigarettes.

“I’m addicted but still restrain from smoking a cigarette because it gives me piece of mind, somehow,” said an anonymous senior girl who has a Juul. “I don’t necessarily think they’re better for me, but it’s definitely easier to hide from your parents.”

Nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals in the world. According to NIDA, every year only 6% of smokers are able to quit.

 

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