Teachers and Parents: That USB Stick May be an E-Cigarette
(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is bringing awareness to a product that is continuing to grow in popularity among young people.
E-Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among the nation’s middle and high school students. Specifically, JUUL is a brand of E-cigarette that is becoming more appealing to young people. Some suspect this could be due to its USB-like structure, rechargeable ability, colorful cases and appealing flavors.
It is a battery-powered device that heats a nicotine-containing liquid to produce an aerosol that is then inhaled. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a JUUL E-cigarette has a high level of nicotine and a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.
Reports indicate a widespread use of JUUL by students in schools including classrooms and bathrooms. This is alarming considering the known health risks associated with young people and tobacco use. “The risk and health factors associated with tobacco use by adolescents are serious and can cause effects that last into adulthood,” explained ADC Coordinator, Jodi Salvo. “It is important that as teachers, parents, guardians and community leaders we continue to stay informed about current trends and fads among our young people to see success in keeping them on a healthy path.”
Evidence-based reports by the CDC support concerns surrounding the health risks associated with nicotine use during adolescence.
• The brain continues to develop until about age 25 nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain.
• Nicotine can harm parts of an adolescence brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control.
• Young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.
• Using nicotine in adolescence may increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
Additionally, reports by the CDC indicate that today’s youth are essentially the ‘guinea pigs’ for JUUL and other E-cigarettes.
• Scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.
• Some of the ingredients in e-cigarette aerosol could also be harmful to the lungs in the long-term.
Other risks include reports of children and adults being poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing E-cigarette liquated through their skin or eyes.
More information on JUUL and E-cigarettes can be found via this PDF link from the CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/infographics/youth/pdfs/e-cigarettes-usb-flash-508.pdf.
Information and resources for parents and guardians can be found here https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/SGR_ECig_ParentTipSheet_508.pdf.