The Hidden Dangers of Juul

Juul product bought illegally, ie. underage, could contain illegal, harmful substances such as THC

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Juul product bought illegally, ie. underage, could contain illegal, harmful substances such as THC

Parker Rhee, Reporter

The debate about the safety of Juuls has been raging fiercely for months now, and despite concerns that Juuling could cause long term harm to users, many continue to use the product for a multitude of reasons. For adult smokers, the question of whether or not to use Juul products may be more ambiguous, but for underage minors there are several compelling reasons to avoid using Juuls. Consider the following information taken from an interview with Officer Morris, who is assigned to Hidden Valley High.

People who use nicotine products are more likely to abuse substances later in life.

 “People who start using nicotine at a younger age are more likely to abuse substances later in life. Their brains will be rewired, so that they are more at risk of becoming addicted to another substance later in life, whether it be alcohol, drugs, whatever. If you start taking another substance later in life, you will be more likely to become addicted to it.”

The Juul pods many underage users buy have been refilled with dangerous substances.

“Most kids here in Virginia who can’t legally purchase these products are getting refilled pods, and when they get the pods refilled, they don’t really know what is actually going into them. They may think its straight nicotine, but it could be THC, marijuana.” THC is an illegal substance in the state of Virginia. It is the active chemical in marijuana that gives people a high. It is not to be confused with CBD oil, which does not give people a high and is legal in Virginia.

Refilled pods can contain dangerous additives.

“THC oil actually has more THC in it than an actual marijuana joint, so you’re getting like 90% THC when a marijuana joint may have 30% THC in it. You’re getting more of the drug than you would if you smoked a marijuana joint.”

This not only makes people addicted to it faster, but it also increases the likelihood of an overdose. “Most of the kids you see dying from Juuling were using Juuls with THC oil in them.”

Law enforcement and the legal system have decided to take a tougher stance on Juuling. In Virginia, possession of a tobacco product when a person is under 21 is considered a civil penalty. That means that an officer who catches a person under the age of 21 with a Juul will write them a ticket to appear in court, and the court will fine the person for using a tobacco product when underage.

“The judges have said, ‘we don’t like the Juuling problem here in Roanoke County, and we are going to take a stand on it.’ So most of the time the judges are doing the maximum fine for Juuling, on the first offence I believe it’s a $100, $150 fine for Juuling; and the second offense it goes up to $250 plus.”

It is very hard to prevent addiction to Juuls.

“Many people start out Juuling because it’s cool, but then it becomes a necessity, they become addicted to it, they can’t get off of it It’s like a cigarette, they crave it, sort of like a person who wakes up every morning and needs it. It’s a drug, just like heroin, just like cocaine and methamphetamine.