Colin Voltz, Editor

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Recently, Juuls and other e-cigarettes are sweeping high schools across the nation, and Indian Land is no exception.  

Juuls and different e-cigarettes are nicotine-based, refillable, tobaccoless cigarettes. And with anti-smoking company “Truth” saying these substances aren’t as harmful as actual cigarettes, they can still cause damage to the lungs and throat. These e-cigarettes have elevated levels of nicotine, with each varying the amount per pod, which is a highly addictive substance according to “The National Institute on Drug Abuse”. The addictiveness of the nicotine means once you pick up an e-cigarette it can be challenging to put down.

The different e-cigarettes may lack tobacco, which is linked to many cancers in the lungs and throat, they still contain many harmful chemicals. Which according to “NBC News” has landed 22 people in the hospital due to lung damage, with many of those being teenagers.

These e-cigarettes are relatively easy for highschoolers to acquire. Many of those who were asked where they got their Juuls from responded with “ from older siblings or friends”. A recent study by “The Partnership of Drug-Free Kids” reported that about 1.73 million, or 11 percent, of high schoolers used e-cigarettes regularly last year and that 3 million, or about 20 percent, have used an e-cigarette at least once. 

Indian Land High School is no exception from the e-cigarettes pandemic.  And there are consequences that come with being caught with one or with the intent to sell, according to the “Indian Land handbook.” Simply being caught with a Juul can end with the perpetrator being suspended for up to five days, and with multiple offenses can lead to getting expelled. And the consequence of getting caught with the intent to sell can be a reason to go straight for expulsion or in very extreme conditions, being arrested.  

A student who uses e-cigarettes on a regular basis was asked a series of questions referring to their experiences with e-cigarettes. He was asked how he got access to the e-cigarettes, to which he responded with “I’ve just always had older friends who could help me out.” And then when asked on why he started he said: “Well I used to smoke actual cigarettes, so I guess this wasn’t as bad.” Lastly, he was asked if he would ever consider quitting, and to that, he responded: “Naw most likely not, and if I ever did, I would probably just go back to regular cigarettes.”

Selling and using Juuls and other e-cigarettes can land you in the hospital, therapists office, or even jail cell. These are the risks that the user takes each time they use their Juul. So next time you go to take a hit of that Juul pod to make sure you know the consequences beforehand, and always ask yourself “is it cool to Juul”?

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