Tough classes, sports and music practices, social events, family obligations, college applications — middle and high school students have enough on their plates. Enter: JUUL, a vape device disguised as a computer flash drive. Imagine how hard it is to avoid vape devices, also known as e-cigarettes, when one in five Barry County teenagers are using them, according to a media release from the Barry Eaton District Health Department.
The Barry County Tobacco Reduction Coalition (TRC) is taking a stand to say “enough is enough” to the e-cigarette epidemic. Joining thousands of activists across the country participating in Kick Butts – and JUULs - Day on March 20, the TRC encourages local kids, teens, parents, and educators to commit to setting aside just 10 minutes of their day to know the truth about vapes, including JUULs. Kick Butts Day is a national day of youth advocacy sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the release said.
There are well over 15,000 flavors of e-cigarettes and cigars, with flavors like butter crumble, berry, bubble gum, cotton candy, gummy bear, grape, and menthol. These flavors are meant to attract kids into trying tobacco products — 81 percent of youth e-cigarette users started with a flavored product.
Tobacco and e-cigarette companies, including JUUL, see kids and teens as their “replacement smokers,” and use flavors to make their products more appealing to beginners, to keep them coming back for more.
Most notably, flavors hide the fact that the devices contain nicotine, and lots of it – each JUUL pod has as much nicotine as is in 20 cigarettes! Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances and interferes with healthy brain development, development that may continue into the mid-20s, according to the health department.
Before kids and teens realize it, they can have “NicoTeen brain” and a lifelong addiction. This has been the story for 3.6 million youth who now use e-cigarettes, including Barry County middle and high school students with bright futures ahead of them. It’s time to support our kids. It’s time to know the truth.
To know the truth about JUUL and other vape devices, visit www.stillblowingsmoke.org, www.e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov, http://www.thetruth.com, or www.truthinitiative.org.
Trying to quit? Visit www.thisisquitting.com/ or www.becomeanex.org/ for text-based assistance.