We’ve all seen it in the news — people dying from vaping-related diseases. In addition to this, the president of the United States says he is aware of it, and that he might begin to crack down. So many sides of an ongoing predicament that we find ourselves in, but no one giving straightforward answers on what’s going on and how to solve it.
Talking to various adults, I’ve found that, most of the time, they are very unaware of how it actually works with the Juuling in high school. For a 14-year-old freshman-to-be getting Juul pods, there has to be something happening, and there is. One way they obtain the pods is by seniors (who are of legal age to buy them) selling them. It might sound insane, but considering how many kids are addicted, they make a lot of money. Teens so addicted to something will go to great lengths to get it.
It’s almost comical walking through the hallways hearing kids ask each other for Juuls. There have even been fights at the school over them. People physically harming one another because they cannot get enough of a substance.
Sometimes, you will walk down the hallways and see someone try to inconspicuously trade money for Juul pods. Watching it happen, it would seem almost more logical to just be open about it. Huddling in a corner while putting your hands low and clasping them almost screams, “I am dealing.”
The blame gets passed around a lot, ironically, like a Juul. Is it the big company’s fault? Is it the teens’ fault? I feel that truly both parties are to blame.
The company consistently claims that the device is made as a cigarette alternative for legal adults to use. What else are they supposed to say? The vaping business is more popular than ever, and most of its users are teens whose brains are still developing.
The company says that its advertising is not geared toward teens, but anyone who has seen a Juul commercial can tell they aren’t geared toward people using them as an alternative to cigarettes. The company makes a lot of money selling the product to people who cannot function without it.
Teens can’t be held entirely responsible, but, then again, they aren’t exactly innocent. While, yes, peer pressure is a real thing, Juuling isn’t seen as a necessity. While in past years it may have been seen as something more cool, it’s now becoming evident that they are dangerous. Teens are usually fully aware of the dangers associated with the activity, and choose to ignore them.
Juuls are advertised as something to party with. They are sleek and seen as not as harmful as cigarettes. Therefore, since they aren’t as harmful as cigarettes, they aren’t harmful, right? Well, honestly, we can’t even say that they aren’t as harmful as cigarettes.
We have been able to see the long-term effects of cigarettes and what they have done to the people who’ve used them. Juuls and vaping, on the other hand, haven’t been around long enough for long-term studies and observation of the effects.
Why has it taken us so long to seriously combat it? It takes people dying for people to look and say that something is wrong. One thing that seems to be an issue is the disconnect between teens and adults. As cliche as that is, talking to numerous adults, I’ve noticed it. Adults don’t realize on how massive a scale Juuling is. It’s almost impossible to go a day and not smell the sweet smell that Juul pods produce.
I’ve also noticed that Juuling seems inherently more dangerous to teens now that all of the stories with the vaping-related diseases have come out. All of these people dying from doing something viewed as almost harmless. Teens might be willing to get a nicotine addiction, but once these diseases became widely viewed, it seemed to alarm everyone.
It became a joke of sorts. Like having functioning lungs was somewhat a luxury, considering all of the kids who had decided to vape. The worst part of it is that they are addicted now, and cannot just simply stop. Even if they want to, it’s not going to be easy, considering some teens smoke up to three pods a day. Keep in mind that one Juul pod has the nicotine levels of an entire pack of cigarettes. This is a large-scale epidemic in the youth and needs to be approached and treated as such.
President Donald Trump has been talking about possibly banning Juuls. While this would help solve the problem, what about the adults who legally use them? Should the masses have to stop because of a sect of teenagers who want to vape? These are the same teens who crave Juuls during the day enough that they are willing to risk getting caught at school over them. So, while this might help, it truly might just make the situation even more intense.
Juuling doesn’t stop when people leave high school. Over the summer, I spent a lot of time at West Virginia University, and it was basically like a Juul pod graveyard. Everywhere you went, there were the distinctive little plastic capsules. This is an epidemic that has clearly started to show its ugly effects, but how we as a society choose to combat those effects is where the real question lies.