By Kaya Deters
E-cigs and vaporizers are battery-powered devices used to simulate the act of smoking. The e-juice inside of vaporizers contains glycerin along with food-grade flavoring, and more often than not includes nicotine. High school and even middle school students are highly exposed to e-cig advertisements and products. According to the National Institution of Drug Abuse, 70% of children are exposed to e-cigarette advertisements through media such as television, internet, and retail.
Teens are not smoking as many cigarettes as they used to but the use of tobacco vapes is rising. Although they are considered a safer alternative, they still ensure a nicotine addiction with frequent usage. The most popular e-cigarette amongst teenagers is the Juul, which is a USB charged vaporizer that comes with disposable flavored pods. The Juul pod is a nicotine cartridge which delivers approximately 200 puffs. Each pod is roughly equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. Since the Juul is so discrete and low-maintenance, teens are smoking much more without drawing attention to themselves.
Tobacco industries are aware that their fruit flavored products do appeal to children and teenagers. These industries take advantage of that by making even sweeter flavors and making advertisement so accessible to children and teens. Since the vapors from the Juul dissipate so quickly, it is easy for teens to use in school. A North Eugene High School student, Ricky Allen, has reportedly seen Juuls being used “In the bathrooms, cafeteria, and even in class.” Since the Juul is so discreet, school administrators are not aware of what is happening and the dangers of it.
The Real Cost is an advertising company which promotes the prevention of nicotine use, especially in teens. They work to educate people about the consequences of smoking so that we all can make an informed decision. The Juul company is also developing programs to focus of the prevention of underage use, monitoring the website and making them more age restricted.