New vaping device resembles flash drive and growing popular among teens
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
It's discreet and can easily fool adults, but one Arkansas school district is aware of the newest vaping device's growing popularity among teens.
It’s called Juul and it resembles a flash drive. Just one cartridge is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes.
So far, it’s only available at certain gas stations in Arkansas, and just like any other tobacco product you must be 18 years of age or older to purchase the product.
The Pulaski County Special School District’s Director of Safety and Security, Bennie Bower, tells KATV it’s a device they’re aware of and on the lookout for when they conduct their random scans.
"We have not found a lot, per se, when we started our scanning initiative last year," Bower said. "Periodically we would come across e-cigarettes. But we are aware of the ‘Juuling’ issue for our young people and we're training our officers, our teachers and our students on the reasons why they shouldn't participate in that kind of activity."
While the device has a light to indicate the battery charge, it has no button or indicator for the user to know how much of the product they're inhaling. Health experts say while vaping is an alternative to cigarettes, it’s just as bad.
"All of them have nicotine," said Dr. Gary Wheeler, Arkansas Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer. "The other thing they have are a variety of additives. Most of them are flavorings. What we've learned, and the truth is, nicotine has consequences whether it's used in an e-cigarette or in a regular cigarette. And the second consequence is that a lot of these flavorings are actually harmful."
Wheeler says e-cigs are highly addictive just like cigarettes, and if a parent can’t help their teen stop now they will easily end up adult smokers with serious health complications.