Juuling: Are your kids doing it?

It's a potentially dangerous new trend booming in popularity among teens, and many parents don't even know about.

It's called juuling.

A Juul is small, portable, resembles a flash drive and is charged in the USB port of a computer. Each Juul pod stores nicotine and according to the package, one Juul pod has as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. It's so small and portable you can hide it in the palm of your hand, up your sleeve, and in your backpack.

By law, you must be 18 to buy it, but teens are getting their hands on Juuls and know all about it.

"I've seen a lot of people use it," one high schooler said.

He says teens do it outside of school and even inside his school in the classrooms or bathrooms.

Another teen said he thinks so many of his peers do it because they think it's cool and trendy. I even talked to a 5th grader who told me at her elementary school, it happens. She said five kids went into the bathroom and vaped. She said they did get caught and get in trouble.

When I showed her mom what a Juul pod and device was, she said she had never seen one or heard of it and is surprised kids are juuling.

"Totally shocking, totally awful," she said.

If you check social media and type in Juul, it's very easy to see kids bragging about juuling in school.

One teen tweeted out: "High school bathrooms will now be referred to Juul lounges."

Another tweet reads, "Having a Juul is like having a pack of gum in middle school."

On Instagram, there are several pages where kids post videos of them juuling right in the classroom.

Juul starter kits cost about $30. Juul pods even come in a variety of flavors like fruit medley and creme brulee.

Right on the packaging, it states: "Not for sale to minors keep away from children."

But that is not stopping kids and teens from getting their hands on Juuls. Dr. Wanda Boone with Durham Together for Resilient Youth said kids are getting access to Juuls as she hears from many who can buy them at convenience stores, even though it's illegal to sell them to people younger than 18.


"Young people don't necessarily think it's dangerous for them," she said.

But she says it's very dangerous as Juuls contain chemicals, many not even known as manufacturers don't have to report e-cigarette ingredients.

"The biggest danger is thinking yet another product is not harmful to them," she said. "It's still a delivery system primarily that has nicotine in it, and therefore it is a problem." Dr. Boone says the best advice is parents need to have an open conversation with their kids and teen about the dangers of juuling.

ABC11 reached out to Juul for comment, the company provided this statement:

JUUL Labs' mission is to eliminate cigarette smoking by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to cigarettes. JUUL is not intended for anyone else. We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is, in fact, illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product.

Our goal is to further reduce the number of minors who possess or use tobacco products, including vapor products, and to find ways to keep young people from ever trying these products. We approach this with a combination of education, enforcement, technology and partnership with others who are focused on this issue, including lawmakers, educators, community leaders and our business partners. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate and engage with parents and educators and encourage them to email us at youthprevention@juul.com.
Some of our initiatives include:

Limiting the sale of JUUL on our website to ages 21+. JUUL's e-commerce platform incorporates industry-leading controls to help ensure minors are not able to purchase our products on our Web site.

Working to engage school districts across the country to deploy educational programs.

Actively working with law enforcement and community leaders across the country.

Deploying a secret shopper program to monitor age verification of retailers.
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