‘Juuling’: The most widespread phenomenon you’ve never heard of

Juuling E-cig image
A Juul e-cigarette for sale at Fast Eddie's Smoke Shop. Shoppers must be 21 years of age.
By Beth Teitell GLOBE STAFF  NOVEMBER 16, 2017

A new front has opened in the never-ending game of cat and mouse between teenagers and adults — over Juuling, a discreet form of vaping that is the most widespread phenomenon you’ve likely never heard of.

In some high schools, the “Juuling in the bathroom” problem has gotten so intense that administrators are sending home e-mails warning parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes in general — and, in particular, about a brand called Juul, which makes sleek devices that are easily concealed and often mistaken for thumb drives.

In Newton, an Oct. 31 e-mail to parents showed a cop-show-style evidence photo with a dire caption: “Here is a Juul device disguised as a Sharpie Pen.”

The e-mail also schooled parents who may be unfamiliar with the whole vaping trend. “Electronic cigarettes are devices that utilize stored electricity to heat a liquid into vapors, which are then inhaled by the user,” the letter read. “The liquid can be anything from a flavored water-type mixture to liquid nicotine to THC, the principal active element of marijuana.”

The letter warned that recent studies “suggest e-cigarettes are the latest ‘gateway’ to harder drug use.”

A psychologist who sees patients in Boston’s upscale western suburbs told the Globe that every teen he treats now uses a Juul. One patient, a student at a prestigious local private school, secretly used his parents’ credit cards to buy thousands of dollars of Juuls online, and then turned around and sold the devices and flavored pods to other kids at a profit.
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