The Juul is a sleek and discreet e-cigarette vaporizer developed to help smokers transition from cigarettes. It is designed to accommodate nicotine levels akin to a cigarette's without the carcinogens and secondhand smoke. The Juul also has the option to be flavored, making it seem far less dangerous and far more attractive to younger would-be smokers and vapors. Flavors include cool mint, mango, cucumber, and crème brûlée. But, regardless of the flavors, one pod delivers about 200 puffs, which is as much as one pack of cigarettes.
Now, this product is making its way into middle school classrooms — and quickly. Juuls look strikingly similar to a USB, something that parents or teachers would be none the wiser to. In addition, the vapor from the Juul dissipates quickly enough that a hit can be taken before a teacher turns around from writing something on the board. And while causes and effects of smoking real cigarettes are apparent, including certain cancer and nicotine addiction, young people aren't as in tune to the fact that something like the Juul can present them with the exact same effects — some even to a worse degree — as smoking.
The Juul starter pack runs about $50, which includes the device and four pods, and can be purchased online. Although the Juul website requires purchasers to validate their identity, there are several third-party sites selling these products that don't require validation. Students can also be exposed to these products through older students and other classmates.
So, word to the wise — talk to your children and check those USB drives that they bring home. They may not be what they seem.