Thursday, November 30, 2017



Washingtonville High School does an excellent job with educating students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but with new technologies constantly being created, some presentations eventually become obsolete.  The newest up and coming drug technology is the JUUL, an alternative version of cigarettes.  Unfortunately, using a JUUL has become a new trend among some of the students in WHS who are unaware of the dangers.  

According to the JUUL’s official website, a “JUUL is an easy to use vaporizer designed for adult smokers looking for a genuine alternative to smoking cigarettes.”  Equally as dangerous to a user’s health, this product is very similar to e-cigarettes and vapes.  The device contains a unique JUUL pod consisting of “JUULsalts, an e liquid formula based on nicotine salts rather than free base nicotine.”  

This product contains 5% of nicotine, serving as a “harm reducing” product when compared to cigarettes, but not a harm free one.  Dr. Lester Hartman of Westwood Mansfield Pediatrics stated that smoking one JUUL pod is equivalent to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.  With such a high nicotine content, students are getting addicted without even realizing it.

Many think JUULing is not a dangerous habit because it only contains nicotine, but the withdrawal symptoms are nothing to joke about.  According to, students going through withdrawal can face symptoms of insomnia, chest infections, lack of concentration, and  extreme irritability. 

Although this device is an alternative to smoking cigarettes, it is still not a harmless product safe for student consumption.  The JUUL’s official website exclaimed, “If you do not currently use nicotine-containing products, we recommend that you do not start,” thus proving a JUUL is not a harm free product.  

Personally, I believe my peers are blind to what they are actually doing to their bodies and need to be properly informed.  Many students rushed to get their hands on a JUUL to be a part of the trend before they took the time to research what it can do to their bodies.  Although some students claimed to have researched the JUUL before buying one, I think they used information from sites that are not reliable in an attempt to prove it is harm free.  

Two Washingtonville students who prefer to be anonymous, are both active users and do not see any issue with JUULing.  Joe believes he is the trendsetter of JUULs in Washingtonville and is “guilty, yet proud” of introducing his friends, like John, to this device.  John stated, he uses his JUUL “all the time; it’s the norm for teenagers now.”  Although both boys are fully aware of what they are ingesting,  Joe claims JUULing “doesn’t hurt me, so it doesn’t affect me.”

Joe argues, “There is no scientifically proven health dangers from using a JUUL.”  However, what Joe isn’t taking into consideration is the fact that this is only because the JUUL is only two years old.   It has not been around long enough to have an ample amount of research behind it.  Regardless of there being no direct studies to determine the effects of the JUUL itself, there are numerous cases of other nicotine based products, like vapes and e-cigarettes, that do prove the dangers of nicotine.  

Overall, I think students should not be using JUULs because of what they contain as well as the lack of research behind it.  The bottom line is that while the JUUL may be a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, they are not a harm free one.   Even though nicotine is not an illegal drug, it is illegal for minors to use nicotine products.  Remember, it’s not just a JUUL.

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