Beginning this year, student electronic cigarette usage in school and on school grounds has significantly increased. Multiple Mt. Hebron and Howard County students have been caught using E-cigarettes, known as “juuls,” in classrooms, buses and hallways, violating Policy 1050.
Policy 1050 encourages a tobacco-free environment on Howard County School grounds. The consequences of “juuling” on school grounds include confiscation of the e-cigarette and, if it is the student’s first offense, participation in tobacco classes. Second and any further offenses lead to suspension. Mt. Hebron has been attempting to stop more students from “juuling” by informing all parents and guardians about juuls via email.
“We’re doing what we can to follow policy,” said School Resource Officer Jason DiCerno. “These kids are testing the waters to see how far they can take it with these E-Cigs. On Nov. 15 , we did three searches, and four got busted.”
In response to the increase in juuling, sophomore Jason Brown said, “I’m surprised to see how many people are being suspended for juuling. I don’t think the school board is capable of stopping this because people will always just find another way to do it.
“There’s two types of people [who juul],” Brown added, “the one who does it because they want to, and the person who does it to be considered cool.”
E-cigarettes are considered a gateway drug because it contains nicotine and can lead to the use of more dangerous substances.
It appears that the variety of flavors of juuls, including mango, cool mint, fruit medley and creme brulee, poses as an incentive for teens choosing to juul instead of using other drugs. Science Network for Students has pointed out that the metal coil found within juuls possesses harmful chemicals and can cause cancer. Inhaling burned metal can agitate the nervous system.
Vaping and using e-cigarettes has skyrocketed in teenagers. In 2011, only 1.5 percent students had tried e-cigarettes, compared to 16 percent in 2016.
“One of these pods is the equivalent to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes,” junior Alex Ferguson said. “These rebels choosing to ruin their lives with drugs and those awful things called juuls and are only doing it for the clout that comes with it. I don’t even think they understand that all that clout can go to your head and make you do drugs.”
“Clout” can be defined as an influence of power, especially in business or politics, yet the youth of today use the word to express a desirable type of style and to show off how cool they are. “Clout” is often associated with juuling and the Supreme company.
The increased prevalence of vaping among teenagers has become a concern due to the unknown long-term effects of juuling. The Howard County Public School System is enforcing Policy 1050, prohibiting vaping, as well as smoking, within schools and will continue to do so, in an attempt to end the current epidemic.
Categories: Hebron News