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Juuls in Schuul

Juuls%2C+among+other+nicotine+products%2C+are+the+newest+trend+among+students.
Juuls, among other nicotine products, are the newest trend among students.

Juuls, among other nicotine products, are the newest trend among students.

Juuls, among other nicotine products, are the newest trend among students.

Colt Beat, Memorial Staff Writer

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Throughout life, trends and fads become apparent in the human population. Nicotine products are one of the crazes that exist today. With the appearance of product development and improved technology, the tobacco industry has introduced numerous items that appeal to teenagers. Unfortunately, it seems that teenagers are the demographic that find these products attractive. Vapes, Juuls and E-cigarettes are just a few of the trendy nicotine devices that are plaguing high schools.

“I think teenagers enjoy using nicotine products because it alters their mood and they enjoy the buzz that comes from it,” said freshman principal Jeff Nemcok. “They kind of become dependent on acquiring the nicotine in their system.”

The buzz that is obtained from the nicotine provides individuals with a temporary way to handle stress and problems.

“I vape on school grounds because it makes school and life a bit more bearable and fun,” said a senior student who chose to remain anonymous.

Then again, individuals may use these devices due to its trending status.

“Teenagers are told by individuals that they shouldn’t vape and that it is bad, but this creates the drive to do it for the sake of doing something,” said AP World History teacher Jordan Gotcher. “Also, peer pressure and looking ‘cool’ are possible factors to minors using tobacco products.”

Nicotine devices are supposed to be aimed towards adults quitting tobacco products, specifically cigarettes. This doesn’t stop those under the legal age limit of 18. In a way, the nicotine devices are counterproductive as it is appealing to the wrong target and causing health problems among individuals.

When students choose to vape or ‘Juul’ on school grounds, classrooms and bathrooms are a hotspot for the activity.

“There are about two conflicts a week that students are caught with their vapes or Juuls,” said Nemcok.

Nicotine devices vary in size, shape and quality. With advancement of technology, vapes and Juuls can resemble everyday objects.

“Those devices are so easy to hide, especially the juuls since it gives the appearance of a flash drive,” said Edmond Officer Bervis Littles.

When a student is caught with nicotine products, there are obviously repercussions, usually two days of in school suspension.

“I have received in school suspension for vaping on school property, so I know that it’s possible to be caught,” said a sophomore student who chose to remain anonymous.

The consequences don’t stop there, if an individual is a minor and possesses any kind of tobacco product, then the matter becomes more serious. At Memorial, 16 tickets have been written for possession of tobacco products thus far in the 2017-2018 school year.

“If they’re a minor, they will also receive a youth and tobacco ticket,” said Nemcok.  “The ticket itself is about $160, and will increase if fined more than once.”

Though the consequences are severe, some may be under the influence that the punishment isn’t harsh enough.

“Given the fact that vapes have the ability to be used as drug paraphernalia, the repercussions should reflect the seriousness of drug paraphernalia possession,” said Gotcher.

Though a series of steps have taken place to crack down on the epidemic, there really isn’t anything the school can do to eliminate the problem.

“We do monitor the student restrooms more frequently, so anytime I use the restroom, instead of using the faculty’s bathroom I use the regular one,” Nemcok said.  “I feel like we are focusing on bigger issues like keeping the student population safe and making sure they are succeeding academically and preparing for the real world.”

In the end, this trend will most likely die out and be replaced with another attractive item, following an endless cycle.
Contact Colt Beat at [email protected]

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