Michele Spring Reporting:

(Thursday, September 06, 2018) Tuscarawas County, Ohio – Electronic cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product amongst middle school and high school students, according to the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition.

The coalition is sending a message to warn parents and teachers of a battery-powered device that heats nicotine and looks just like a portable computer device.

Coordinator Jodi Salvo explained that the JUUL device is becoming more appealing to students because of its structure, rechargeable ability, and flavors.

“It looks just like a USB flash drive. You literally charge this device in a computer and you have these flavoring pods that is used with the JUULing device. And it is definitely targeted towards our youth. The flavors are strawberry, crème brule, mint, mango flavor.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the JUUL e-cigarette has the same high level of nicotine as a pack of twenty cigarettes.

“Talking to students, we’ll say, “Do you smoke?” and they’ll say no but then if you ask the question, “Do you vape?” they’ll say yes. So, somewhere in the kid’s brain, they’re getting a disconnect that vaping is not as harmful as tobacco. And if students start using the JUULing device with the higher nicotine level, there is a great chance they will become addicted.”

Salvo stresses to parents and teachers that the JUULing device can be easily concealed and mistaken for a USB flash drive. She also warns parents that this device could potentially be a gateway to illicit drugs.

“You can refill cartridges, not particularly on the JUULing device but on knock-offs. And you would be able to put cannabis oil in there as well, which is concerning for our youth because it’s going to be very hard for adults to identify if students are using some of these products.”

Salvo said that there is no long-term research to what vaping or e-cigarettes can do to a body but preliminary findings are noticing a condition called “popcorn lung.”

For more information on the JUULing device or E-cigarettes, visit the CDC website.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2018