Parents wake up o, another one is in town, although it has been around for a while now, but recently, it is gaining more popularity and market acceptance, especially among teenagers and young adults as they can use it right under the noses of their parents without them knowing what it is.
WHAT IS JUUL? Juul is an electronic cigarette that comes in different shapes and sizes, mostly in the shape of a USB flash drive. It has sweet and fruity flavours such as mint flavour, mango flavour, cream flavour, etc, Juul device is rechargeable, it comes with a USB charger, and the Juul’s USB charging dock can also be plugged into a laptop USB port to charge.
For clarification purposes, vaping is the use of a vaporizer or e-cigarette to inhale a vapor that contains nicotine, while Juul is a particular brand name of an e-cigarette that is more prominent and dominating the e-cigarette market, in fact, while researching this subject, I was shocked to learn that Juul accounts for almost 40% of the entire e-cigarette market; hence the reason their brand name is now used interchangeably with vape. You know the way we Nigerians refer to detergent as Omo, toothpaste as Maclean, and noodles as Indomie because of their popularity and how they once dominated the market. I hope you understand. I had to make this explanation so I don’t confuse you as I would be using both words interchangeably.
Vaporiser/Juul = e-cigarette
To vape/to Juul = to use an e-cigarette (just as you can say, to smoke marijuana)
Vaping/juuling = the act of inhaling e-cigarettes.
Juul pod contains scented vapor that its users inhale and exhale, and unfortunately, it is more popular and commonly used among teenagers as they believe it is a less harmful way of getting high but that’s just another lie, as Juul has been proven to be harmful to health just like the regular cigarette.
While working on this write up I decided to do a little research about the ingredients contained in Juul and the effect it can have on one’s health and this was what I found, Juul contains 5 major ingredients #Benzoic_acid, #Nicotine, #Glycerine, Propylene glycol, and #Flovours.
Nicotine is a very dangerous and highly ADDICTIVE chemical that can do a lot of damage to the body. You can do some research on it to learn more.
Benzoic acid is an addictive preservative added to foods, too much of it in the body system can be dangerously poisonous. It is added in Juul to help it vaporise at a low temperature, making it easy for users to inhale nicotine.
Glycerine is a colourless and sweet-tasting liquid that serves as thicker in vapes.
Propylene glycol is a “harmless” chemical that helps inhalers to work, however, overuse of this substance can have a damaging effect on one’s health.
Flavour is added to it just to give it a sweet scent to entice young unsuspecting people.
Unfortunately, it has been a proven fact that a lot of teenagers and secondary school students are into vaping or at least have seen other students using it. The use of tobacco and alcohol by teenagers has become a serious global challenge. Social vices are increasing and one of the reasons for that is because many young people are being given to drug addiction thereby affecting their reasoning, many young people do silly things under the influence of drug/alcohol.
To teenagers who are into vaping with the belief that it does not harm one’s health, I am telling you now, just like regular cigarettes, vaping is detrimental not just to the physical but also to the mental health of its users. The effect may not show today but will definitely do if you persist in using it.
To the parents, what if I tell you that the USB-like object with your child could be a vape, hmmmmm? You’ve got to wake up. One of the advantages of this long holiday is that you can utilise it to get to know more about your kids, vaping is not something that has strong smells that can easily stick to one’s body and that makes it harder to know who is into vaping and who is not.
So, you’ve got to be more vigilant, giving attention to every little detail, I’m not saying you should turn monitoring spirit and choke your children with suspicion, but you have to be more watchful. Utilise this holiday to bond with your children, have friendly conversations with them, ask questions but do not ask suspiciously or interrogate them like those police officers in nollywood would do.
Just be observant.
Above all, pray for your children, you can never go wrong with prayer. May God help and protect our children, and may every child that is connected to us, either biologically or otherwise make us proud.
- Ugoma Johnson is a journalist, published author of 3 books, a social worker, and founder, Teens Empowerment And Rehabilitation Centre (TercHub), a foundation that is saddled with the mandate to curb teenage pregnancy, illiteracy and period poverty, through transformational teachings, provision of school materials and sanitary pads for teenagers in ruler communities.