The Hard Truth

Taytum Adkins, Staff Reporter

This sign is posted on both doors to the men’s bathroom in the field house area.

    There is a recent trend going through middle and high schools all across the country. The use and sharing of Juul.

    Since they came out in 2017, the flavored e-cigarettes have quickly become a dangerous passing time for teens. The creators of Juul made them with the purpose to be used as a smoking alternative for adults, yet when the sales skyrocketed in the direction of teens, nothing was done to stop or at least slow down the sales to minors. The lack of regulation has caused the use of Juul to go up by 80% in high schools and 50% in middle schools.

    Scott gottlieb, the commissioner of the FDA said that the teen usage of Juul has “reached nothing short of an epidemic”’.

    As far as Craig’s student involvement in this epidemic, it is just as present here as it is anywhere else in the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims that over a thirty day period of time more than 2 million middle and high schoolers in the the U.S. will use Juul. The concentration of students using e-cigarettes at school has caused the bathrooms next to the field house to be closed. The young people of Craig were using those bathrooms for the wrong reasons and to vandalize school property.

    Most are out of sorts over the bathrooms being closed. Teens, just like anyone else, don’t like to be punished, but the administration just wants to help some make better choices. The staff at Craig collectively decided to restrict the areas in the building where students to continue to make bad decisions in the aspect of their long-term health. Teachers are aware that students Juul, but there is only so much they can do. Ultimately, the users have to make the decision themselves to quit. Closing the bathroom was a step towards attempting to decrease their use.

    I can guarantee that whoever is reading this article knows at least three people that use or own a Juul. So many teens use this e-cigarette that it has become common to see them smoking and talking about it.

    Their conversations however, are not the ones that need to be had. The Juul epidemic is a dangerous reality that all teens face and have to witness in their everyday lives.

    Juul is no less dangerous than real cigarettes. A single Juul pod has as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Over the course of five weeks, that is 100 cigarettes. They can cause all of the same side effects: chronic bronchitis, back pain, early wrinkles, stomach ulcers, popcorn lung, yellow teeth, eye cataracts, heart disease, cancer, decreased fertility, and so much more.  

    The instant “relief” that you can get from using Juul is not worth the long-term effects. The feeling of temporary relaxation is not worth the potential stroke. Smoking as a teen to fit in is not worth the decreased ability to have children. The choices that teens are making all around the country, and here at Craig, can and will affect their lives as adults.

    The concentration of current users will make the teen presence of Juul relevant for a long time to come, but conversations need to be had to start the slowing process. Awareness of the dangers that go along with it need to be regularly recognized and understood.

    If teens all around the country don’t quit their use of e-cigarettes, some will not be alive to see the end of the epidemic. Those that are will likely be addicted to other nicotine products as adults. Using Juul is an addiction just like any other, yet it is not seen as an issue in the users’ eyes. It is done for the sake of following a trend without seriously considering the health risks. Being addicted to an e-cigarette is no different than being addicted to the nicotine in a regular cigarette- no different than being an alcoholic.

    The use of Juul is an addictive epidemic, and that is the hard truth. Its end starts with you.