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JUUL vs. School

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JUUL vs. School

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“Hey bro, can I hit that?”

”Bro, you got any pods?”

”Hey, where my pods?”

These words can be heard at almost any social gathering today and are heard countless times in public schools.  However, there has been a two-year long war between LCA and JUULs. In the past, the Spiritual Life Director indicated that each week, teachers and administrators find these small vape devices.

A JUUL is an e-cigarette that uses nicotine salts that exist in leaf-based tobacco. It uses disposable “Pods” that previously came in a variety of flavors including Virginia tobacco, tobacco, cool mint, mango, menthol, and cool cucumber. However, the FDA has cracked down on JUUL because these flavors are more appealing to kids. These pods can have as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes (20 units). A pack of pods include 4 units and costs approximately $17-20 at the local gas station or smoke shop.

Teens at the school don’t seem to really care about the subject. For example, Andrew Huff, 11, an excellent student, has a somewhat neutral opinion. “I mean, it’s just, I don’t think it’s good for you. I’m cool with people doing it, but I just really don’t think you should.” Most teens know of several people who JUUL or have done it in the past. Many teens say they vape/JUUL to fit in and don’t want to be made fun of. 

The issue has grown in the last three years, and the school has held assemblies to educate students on the usage of nicotine. There was also a follow-up chapel the next week to talk about the schools stance on the issue. LCA’s student handbook states,”Vaping Devices — All vaping, electronic vaping, or similar devices are prohibited on school property and students are prohibited from using.  All vaping devices that deliver non-nicotine vapor such as fruit flavored water vapor or gas shall be included in this policy.”

In summary, if a JUUL contains anything closely related to the items previously mentioned, it is prohibited on campus.  It can cause a slew of problems for students caught with a JUUL,  such as being suspended for three days, counseling, and/or a three day in-school suspension. This is understandable because at LCA, students are supposed to represent the school in and out of the building.  The school does not want to project an unpopular opinion about itself. Knowing this, why do many kids still JUUL/Vape? It may be that they have become are addicted to it.  According to the National Institutes for Health, 16% of seniors vape regularly with no intentions of stopping.

What can the school do?

Nothing really, if teachers and administrators blow the issue out of proportion. It will ultimately cause kids to rebel and want to do it more. However, the school can educate the students with substantial research about the social repercussions as well as physical and mental consequences of vaping.  They can also help by refraining from saying “because the Handbook says so.” This kind of response will just cause more backlash from the students, or at least result in just a roll of the eye. Students themselves can make the biggest difference. They can do this by encouraging their friends to stop vaping. Also, they can help their friends by suggesting more healthy activities than just passing around an electronic cancer stick.

 

About the Writer
Dustin Wheatley, Staff Writer

Dustin is a junior who describes himself as a “slightly above average football player with the IQ of one." He adds that he often says he lives in his...

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JUUL vs. School