Juul drama reaches halls of U. City

Julian Albright, Co-Editor

Theater kids, robotics kids and a handful of other students have recently been named as Juul-ers on a list circulating amongst students and parents. The validity of the list is highly questionable, as several people identified are not actual users.

Although the statistics prove that high schoolers play a large part in the vaping epidemic, some might not assume that U. City has a vaping problem.
“I usually see [Juul-ing] more in the upper echelon schools like Clayton and Ladue,” says Azyah Brown, senior. “Because white kids can financially get it, and black kids don’t really know what it is.”

Jayla Fitch, junior, agrees.

“Black people don’t Juul,” said Fitch. “I definitely think it’s more rare.”

Based on these opinions and U. City’s demographics, Juul-ing has not been a problem here over the past few years like it has in other places.

But there may be more Juul-ing going on than people know.

John Smith, the pseudonym of a U. City student and Juul-er who declined to be identified, shares his side of the story.

“There are definitely people at U. City who Juul,” said Smith. “I started off slow but now I go through about a pod a day. I don’t even get buzzed anymore.”

Since Juul hit shelves in 2015, they have almost completely taken over the e-cigarette market. Sales increased 800 percent in 2018, making Juul sales 71 percent of the e-cigarette market, according to CNBC. The Juul was so successful for PAX Labs that they actually changed their names officially to Juul Labs.
The FDA reports that 3 million (or one-fifth of) high school students in the U.S. use tobacco products. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette sales increased 78 percent among high school students.

Why so notable? Because instead of being the “healthy alternative” that it was meant to be, Juul is encouraging nicotine addictions in people that never smoked in the first place.
According to the statistics, one can see that high school youth account for a large portion of people participating in vaping.

T-Herbert Jeffrey, assistant principal, was not aware of the Juul list.

“I didn’t realize we had an instance [of Juul-ing] here at school,” said Jeffery. “But it does not surprise me.”

Jeffrey says that vaping in school is always on the administration’s radar because it is common and vapes can be easily concealed.

Jeffrey believes that an increase in social media usage heavily contributes to the widespread use of Juul.

“[With the] advent of the internet and the time spent on it, today’s students are more prone to things like Juul-ing,” said Jeffrey. “It’s very important that we pay attention to things like this.”