As a college student I have seen a fair share of JUULs, a vaporizer designed to look like a USB around campus. The new fad of “ripping” JUUL took over campuses across the U.S. last year. You either own one yourself, or know someone else who has one that will let you take a rip any time you want. Just about everybody has access to one, which creates the idea that to be cool you have to use a JUUL.

In reality, we should be really questioning how great the JUUL really is. Bottom line, JUULs contain nicotine. Growing up in the U.S. education system, we are lectured constantly about the dangers of nicotine. For as long as I can remember, I have been told that cigarettes are bad for us, as they ruined the lives of many people in the generations before us, due to the tobacco and extremely long list of chemicals included in the ingredient list.

While the JUUL does contain nicotine, it does not include tobacco, rat poison or anything else that is supposed to burn out our insides. However, out of all the vape options on the market, liquid in a JUUL contains the highest content of nicotine, at about 5%. This makes a JUUL appear to be a great opportunity for someone to ease off of cigarettes, while still get their nicotine fix without putting their health in danger. It seems like a great option next to a cigarette and even something “cool” to do.

Here is why JUULs are not cool. Although JUULs might ease people off of tobacco, they are getting young people addicted to nicotine. JUULs are becoming a problem in high schools across the U.S., where smoking cigarettes is not a problem in comparison. New campaigns have been created to try and prevent high school JUULing, which is hard to stop seeing as though a JUUL could easily be confused as a flash drive, and its modern technology appeals to millenials.

JUULs also are not as healthy as we may think. Yes, we are not putting tobacco into our bodies like smoking cigarettes used to do, but no form of vaping can get away without having health risks. The nicotine is there, and research has been done for years on the harmful effects of nicotine. Nicotine has been tied to leading to depression, among other disorders, when adolescents become addicted and reliant on the drug. Memory damage and attention deficits have also been linked to long-term nicotine use. Depression and memory damage are not something to playaround with, especially for high school and college students, who are reliant on memory and mental stability to find success in education, all while our brains are still in the process of developing. According to an article by people have started linking JUULs to problems with liver enzymes and can sometimes lead to cancer.

Even though it is beginning viewed that smoking is not a problem for the millennium generation, this does not mean we aren’t harming our bodies. In a survey done by National Public Radio, one student in a high school – a keynote high school where the students are mostly under 18, the legal age to purchase Juul products – guessed that about 50 or 60 percent of her friends have JUULs.

JUULs may be the “healthier” alternative to cigarettes, but that does not mean they are healthy. They are created to aid people in easing off cigarettes, not for recreational use on high school and college campuses. If you are not using a JUUL, don’t start because there is no reason to. If you are, please stop while you may be able to get away from the addictive qualities before it causes harm to your brain development. JUULs are not cool. They are not supposed to be used for fun, so don’t use them like they are.

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