I find myself envying my parents more and more these days when it comes to raising teenagers. Gone are the days when your child would come home and you could give them the once over- pull them close and give them a good sniff- and detect if they’ve been smoking cigarettes or pot. E- cigarettes, AKA vaping, AKA Juuling, has taken smoking to a whole new level.
The Basics (taken from E-cigarettes and vaping: Everything you need to know)
- E-cigarettes are battery operated inhalers that consist of a rechargeable battery, a cartridge called a cartomizer and an LED that lights up at the end when you puff on the device.
- Vaping is defined as the act of inhaling water vapor through a personal vaporizer or electronic cigarette. When users draw on the device, the battery heats the liquid, which is then atomized into an inhalable vapor.
- Juul is a specific, very popular type of vaporizer.
So in essence when you hear about “Juuling”, you are hearing about vaping and e-cigarettes.
What You Need To Know
What it looks like…
A Juul looks just like a USB drive and could very easily be overlooked or mistaken for something else. They also sell skin decal wraps in the most popular brands.
What it smells like…
The vapor from Juul smells super, super sweet. I’m talking toothache sweet. If your child is Juuling, you may be able to pick up the fruity scent on them. They come in flavors such as creme brulee, mango, and fruit medley. Kids are Juuling in school (bathrooms, cafeterias, even in the classrooms!) because there is no scent of smoke and the vapor disappears in an instant.
Why it’s dangerous…
Kids are under the very wrong impression that juuling is not dangerous. While it’s true, e-cigarettes and Juul do not have tobacco, they do have nicotine. In fact, one juul pod has as much nicotine as an entire pack of traditional cigarettes.
Another danger is the possibility of something called popcorn lung. Diacetyl (which is found in Juul) is a buttery flavored chemical. “When inhaled, diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans – more commonly referred to as “popcorn lung” – a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways. While the name “popcorn lung” may not sound like a threat, it’s a serious lung disease that causes coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” (taken from Popcorn Lung: A Dangerous Risk of Flavored E-Cigarettes)
It’s also important to note that these devices can be modified to use THC oil. A quick search on youtube and your child will know how to if he/she has the desire.
The most dangerous thing of all, in my opinion, is that the same kids who think cigarettes are disgusting think juuling is cool. It literally checks all the boxes- it looks “cool”, it smells good, it tastes good and it charges like all of their other devices. Boys, especially, are very into doing tricks with the vapor and even have instagram accounts set up to document it all.
What’s a parent to do?
Stay informed. Talk to your kids- A LOT. Do spot checks on their phones (when you check their phones, make sure to check their pictures and screenshots) and every now and again, give a quick look in their rooms/backpacks. Make sure they know how dangerous juuling is and that it is addictive. Good luck- we all need it!
Think your kid is Juuling? Pick up a nicotine test kit.