Campus JUUL Epidemic

Caroline Wilkerson ~ Copy Editor

The University of Lynchburg has seen a rise in juuling and vaping on campus.

According to the JUUL website, founders and Stanford graduates, Adam Bowen and James Monsees founded JUUL lab “with the goal of improving the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers.”

The JUUL mission is “As scientists, product designers, and engineers, we believe that vaping can have a positive impact when used by smokers, and can have a negative impact when used by nonsmokers. Our goal is to maximize the positive and reduce the negative.”

As the JUUL epidemic rises, more health corporations are expanding on the research to increase awareness on the harms of juuling and other e-cigarette products. The National Center of Health Research has released research stating, “not only is nicotine addictive, but it is also toxic to fetuses and is known to impair brain and lung development if used during adolescence. It is not replacing cigarette smoking, but rather encouraging it.”

Furthermore, the National Center of Health Research found in a 2017 study that “non-smoking adults were four times more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes after only 18 months of vaping, which includes juuling.”

Lisa Geier, nurse practitioner and clinical director at the University of Lynchburg, noted there is a  risk to juuling and e-cigarettes. She said, “the brain is still developing until the age of 25, and people who smoke or use nicotine products are more likely to become addicted.”

Geier also noted that every year the University of Lynchburg junior nursing students do a health service project and that spreading awareness on the harmful side effects of JUULs may be a good idea, due to the rise on campus.

University of Lynchburg junior, Elena Fergusson, said, “Before the JUUL, I never used nicotine products. However, once I started using the JUUL, I found myself becoming more and more dependent on the product. Now I find myself having shortness of breath and fatigue.”

In addition, Austin Keesee, junior, said, “I do not think people should just hit the JUUL just because they think it is cool. People are getting themselves addicted to nicotine over a fad and it can have harmful lifelong effects on their bodies.”

While Andrew White, sophomore, said, “I got into the JUUL because I smoked cigarettes, but it just got way too expensive for me and now I just smoke cigars. It is a lot cheaper especially since I work at Pap’s Cigar Lounge.”

Liz Gerhart, junior, said, “Juuling is just a substitute for smoking cigarettes. It may not have as many negative effects, but it still is not the healthiest alternative.”