Recent news stories have reported an increase in student use of an e-cigarette vaping device called the Juul. It is designed to look like a USB flash drive and is charged in a computer or laptop, with pods of nicotine “e-juice” that come in a variety of flavors found to appeal to youth like mango, crème brulee and fruit medley. Both Whitefish Bay and Mequon high schools have noted an increase in student usage of the Juul, with some students leaving class to use them in school bathrooms.
According to the the Surgeon General Report on E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Youth Adults, “nicotine exposure…during adolescence can disrupt the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction.”
In addition, nicotine exposure during adolescence can lower impulse control and lead to mood disorders. The most recent Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey found that although conventional cigarette use among youth is decreasing, e-cigarette use among Wisconsin high school students nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016, and nearly 90% of youth said they would not try an e-cigarette if it didn’t come in candy and fruit flavors.