Parents – have you heard of juuling? If you haven’t, here is what you need to know:
What is it?
Juuling is the new fad among teens – it is a form of vaping that is illegal for those under 18 (and 21, in some states) and is extremely addictive. The juul is an electronic cigarette which has a long, metallic, sleek design and looks similar to a large flash drive. They are easily accessible and can be ordered online – these websites are not sufficiently monitored or regulated. Because of this design, they are easily hidden in a hand or pocket, and often go unnoticed by parents and school personnel. A juul pod (pictured above) is colorful and at first glance looks like it could be a mini flash drive. The pods themselves often have a sweet smell as they are fruit or floral flavored. Teens get the chemicals for the e-cigarettes from these pods.
What are the dangers?
Although extensive research has not yet been completed involving vaping or juuling, Yale research scientist Krysten Bold reports that juuling involves breathing chemicals into your body which can potentially be a health hazard. Any time any foreign substance enters our body, it can cause health problems.
Here is what is most concerning about juuling though: according to the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, the pods themselves (pictured above) have a high dose of nicotine in them – in comparison, each pod is equivalent to a full pack of cigarettes. Doctors and researchers report that nicotine is damaging to the developing brain, is extremely addictive, and can be a gateway to other illegal drugs and alcohol use.
Not only that, but if your child is taking ADD/ADHD medication, anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds while juuling, it can lead to increased anxiety, depression and increased thoughts of suicide.
What are the potential signs my teen is juuling?
Finding these pods or the juul pen in your child’s room is one sign they are #juuling. However, if your teen is complaining about a frequent sore throat, is coughing a lot, and seems more irritable or more anxious than usual, these are other signs they might be juuling. The cough and sore throat are related to the side effects that vaping can have on the throat, lungs and heart.
What are the legal consequences if my child is caught juuling?
Each city ordinance is different, but cities as close as Park Ridge recently passed an ordinance that says minors who are caught vaping or juuling will be arrested, ticketed, and face an adjudication hearing, where they will pay $500 in fines and be required to enroll in a diversion and education program. And parents – you will be required to attend this class with them!
Parents – if you suspect your child might be vaping or juuling, have a conversation with them. If they are juuling, there may be a more serious underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Counseling can help with this! Please don’t hesitate to call me with questions at 630-797-9192.