JUULs: Cool or not Cool?

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Have you ever gone to the bathroom and seen peers vaping? Juuls have swept the nation, causing parents and teachers to worry.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action against JUUL Labs and other electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) companies to cull what the FDA calls an, “epidemic proportion,” of e-cigarette use among youths. Starting September 12, the FDA is giving these companies 60 days to prove that they can control the sale of e-cigarette products to minors.

The use of juuls and other similar vapes in Blacksburg is common among students.

“My brother has had two Juuls and he’s 14,” said a female junior.

“I first saw a Juul last fall when he [the owner] offered me a hit; I had a test so I said, ‘no’,” a male Senior said.

While many teachers did not know about the inconspicuous USB look-a-like device early last school year, a county-wide email quickly brought them up to speed.

“Mr. Lewis would joke about it, ‘Go take your break; smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. I guess I should call it a Juul break now,’ he would tell us,” said Sam Dickinson, Senior.

Not only the target of the FDA, Juul has ongoing lawsuits from parents of addicted teens and even individual adults.

Two lawsuits are suing on the premise that individuals addicted to nicotine attempted to quit by using Juuls and, as a result, they became much more addicted to nicotine. Jason Solotaroff and the other lawyers suing JUUL Labs believe these lawsuits seem to have some merit to them, as Juuls potentially deliver more nicotine than marketed and the company doesn’t seem to make a serious effort to aid smokers in their efforts to quit.

A separate lawsuit filed by a mom of an underage son claims Juul addicted him to nicotine; this lawsuit states Juul’s marketing campaigns and the fruity flavors that their nicotine salts come in are purposefully geared to exploit a younger demographic.

JUUL Labs are attempting to increase their ties with the government in hopes to relieve the negative pressure from media and the law.

“Juul Labs does not believe the cases have merit and will be defending them vigorously,” JUUL Labs said in a statement to WIRED.

As the FDA pursues stricter sale guidelines of e-cigarettes and several ongoing lawsuits against Juul progress, Juuls may be less prevalent in schools and many students may find it harder to obtain these products.