Sound to Sea

New vaporizer will US-B concealed through design, dimensions

Grace Cobb, Staff Writer

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It is the new trend, the new “flashdrive”, the new tobacco product.

Juuling is the latest craze to hit teenagers. Though similar to a vape, juuls emerged as the smaller, easily disguisable, vaporizer that can fit into a pocket or a computer case. Juuls are a type of vaporizer designed so discreetly that most people don’t recognize them as an e-cigarette.

“It’s just easier for kids to get away with [juuls than] a big vape, so more and more people get them,” an anonymous 15-year-old boy said.

Unlike a heavy vape, a juul includes two small parts: the shell and the pod. The shell is made of aluminum, encasing a lithium ion battery, a circuit board, and a pressure sensor. Most vapes consist of a replaceable battery, a tank, and a tip.

“The juul is so appealing to more people because it’s more accessible in almost every aspect. It’s small, powerful, and comes in many different flavors, it simply has everything a kid wants,” an anonymous 17-year-old boy said.

The other piece is the replaceable pod, which comes in many different flavors including mango, mint, fruit, cucumber, and even creme brulee.  The flavors are so appealing because  they actually taste like what they are called.

“I feel like the creme brulee flavor is so popular because when I first got the creme brulee flavor, I was worried it wasn’t going to actually taste like creme brulee but it does,” an anonymous 16-year-old  boy said.

There are more choices of flavors with a vape than there are with a juul.  Flavors of juice with a vape come in almost any flavor you could think of: fruity, food, cocktails, and the regular tobacco blends. Although the choices with a vape exceed those of a juul, this does not deter teens from using a juul.

Although a juul does not contain the chemicals in conventional cigarettes such as tar and carbon monoxide, the pods within the juul’s contain approximately 200 “hits” that have a concentration of nicotine that is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.  Those “hits” are why the teens are using juul’s  to get head buzzes. No matter the pod flavor, they all contain nicotine.

“It takes more than a couple hits from the juul to get a head buzz like you would get from a regular cigarette,” an anonymous 17-year-old girl said.  “If you take in a lot at one time and keep hitting it for a straight five minutes you will get the buzz.”   

The juul is being seen more in schools where students are able to get away with them because of the sleek design and quickly disappearing smoke that creates for simple and sneaky use.

“The juul’s disguise allows it to blend in to a school setting with Chromebooks and other technology.  And, if need be, a juul is small enough to be quickly concealed in pockets and waistbands,” science teacher Chad Leary said.   

The latest e-cigarette creator, Pax Labs, describes the juul as an “intensely satisfying closed system vapor experience.”

“There are tons of places where students can get away with hitting them that teachers don’t know about,” an anonymous 18-year-old girl said.

Due to a juul being easily accessible, the device is more attractive to teens despite the juul being marketed to those who want to stop smoking. According to Juul’s chief administrative officer, Ashley Gould, “The juul is safer than regular cigarettes, but no e-cigarette is considered ‘safe’ and it’s never just vapor that you’re inhaling,”

“A juul might have nicotine in it, but I don’t believe that they are as harmful as cigarettes because there are so many more harmful things added to the nicotine in normal cigarettes”, an anonymous 18-year-old boy said.

Despite the fact that the legal age to buy a juul is 18, teens have found alternative ways to acquire one. Teens as young as 13 have found ways of getting a juul, either through paying an older teen to buy one for them or taking one from older siblings. The multiple vape and tobacco shops around the Outer Banks can supply juuls and pods indirectly to teenagers.

A juul starter kit is around $35 and a pack of pods, which includes four, is around $20. A vape depending on the size can range from $20 to $70 and can sometimes be even higher when including all the parts within the vaporizer. Although the vape itself is more expensive, after continually buying packs for a juul, the price of maintaining the juul can make the overall investment much higher than that of a vape.

“Yes a vape will eventually be less expensive but you don’t see vaping that often anymore so everyone is juuling”, an anonymous 16-year-old girl said.

Although the juul is harmful and can “develop addiction” according to Dr. Donna Shanley, director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Tobacco Cessation Program, it will continue to be used as long as the young generation thinks it’s “cool” to juul.  Just like any fad, there will soon be something that is latest and greatest to replace the juul but until e-cigarettes are not being marketed anymore, there won’t be an end to the appeal of juuling or vaping.

“Many younger consumers prefer electronic delivery systems, like juuls, for multiple reasons including: discreet design, portability, flavor choice, and the false belief that vapor is healthier than traditional smoked cigarettes,” school nurse Jennifer Gilbert said. “It took the world multiple decades to realize cigarettes were bad for people, provide documentation to prove it, make recommendations to fix it and actually institute policy to lead to a decrease in use.  I certainly hope our society can move more rapidly in reducing juul use.”

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New vaporizer will US-B concealed through design, dimensions