Photo by Anonymous
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve probably seen a Juul in the past few months. The small, lightweight black device can be found plugged into walls and even being used all over Churchill.
Juul’s are essentially the newest e-cigarettes. They deliver an amount of nicotine similar to a cigarette, while other e-cigs give off significantly less. A Juul comes with 4 pods which contain 0.7 mL of proprietary e-liquid. The liquid is five percent nicotine by weight, compared to other e-juices that normally contain between 0.3 and 1.2 percent nicotine by weight. A general rule of thumb is that one pod has the same nicotine amount as a pack of cigarettes.
For smokers, a Juul would prove to be a helpful tool to try and quit their habit, but instead, the stimulating effects of the large amount of nicotine makes it a popular choice among teens. Although Juuls eliminate the thousands of carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, nicotine is in no way harmless.
According to a 2016 Drug Abuse article, nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs on the planet, with effects similar to heavy opiates, like heroin. When nicotine enters the body, it attaches itself to acetylcholine receptors and mimics acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that’s involved in heart rate, learning and memory. Nicotine also raises dopamine levels in the brain, which increases feelings of euphoria, which appeals to teens.
Ordering a Juul through the official website costs $49.99, but because customers must prove that they can legally purchase a Juul, most underage students choose to buy in person. Although the minimum age in the US to buy tobacco is 18, you must be 21 to buy a Juul online. A 4 pack of the pods will cost one $16.99, coming in five flavors including fruit medley, creme brulee, mango, mint and tobacco.
According to CHS junior Nick*, who bought his juul for $75, Juuls can be found anywhere around the DMV area, but are harder to find now because they are in such high demand.
Juuls have become very popular among CHS students. People like to use them with friends in order to bond and spend more time with them.
“My friends started juuling and [doing] things similar to a juul, so I started using theirs and then just got really into it,” female CHS senior Alexandra*, who doesn’t own her own Juul, but still uses one, said.
People also tend to like the physical reaction that the ingredients in the Juul brings. For some people, it makes their head feel heavy and that feeling relaxes them.
According to the Nick, the feeling juuling gives you soothes him down and makes his head pound.
However, for others, it gives them an almost dizzying head rush that gives them an energy boost, which is the main reason most students do it. According to the female CHS senior, the headrush is like the feeling one gets when standing up too quickly, which “ups her energy level a little bit.”
*name was changed for anonymity of the source