The past two months I have been hearing about a popular trend in middle and high school aged students called “juling” also referred to by it’s brand name “Juuling.” I am just catching on to what this means so I thought I would share it with all of you parents so you can also be in the know. The picture above is of the e-cigarette device, it looks like a USB and charges right on a laptop.
What is Juuling and should I be concerned?
At the end of last year, I was meeting with Lindsey, a 14-year-old high school student who shared that her friends were “juuling” in the bathroom in school. I had never heard of that term so I asked her to explain to me what that meant. Lindsey said that it was a form of vaping which was getting really popular because the vaping device was even smaller and more discreet than other vaping devices like e-cigarettes. She shared that it is odorless and therefore very easy to get away with. She told me sometimes there is nicotine inside and sometimes marijuana.
Hmmm…I thought to myself, I wanted to look into this more after our session. So, at the end of a long day I Googled it. And then the next day I reached out to colleagues about it. There wasn’t a ton yet on this but enough that I understood that every parent with a kid ages 10 and up needs to know about it.
The term is “juling” but the brand name is “Juul” so kids will often write or text about it either way. Look at this picture! It looks like a USB device and it comes with tiny cartridges (or pods) that are colored, flavored and contain either nicotine or marijuana. You need to know about this for a couple of reasons.
First, use of e-cigarettes is only increasing among teens. These vapes are typically battery operated, or in this case, charged by a laptop, so that the vaping substance can be heated into vapor for inhaling. The cartridges can be easily switched out so that you can vape nicotine and then marijuana all in one sitting. The thick smoke that results on the exhale is odorless or even pleasant smelling so that it is easier to get away with. The liquid that is used is referred to as e-liquid, and comes in flavors that can get users easily addicted as they taste good. The worst part is that users describe it as “light on the lungs” so that they could easily puff on it all day long.
Next, the Surgeon General has warned that vaping is a “major health concern.” The Centers for Disease Control warns that nearly 20% of adolescent kids have used e-cigarettes. Kids are walking around thinking that is is a safer alternative to cigarette use and smoking marijuana, however, it can still be addictive and the health strains that it puts on the lungs and the developing brain are being monitored.
Last, juuling is yet another way that teens are pushing boundaries and showing that they may be struggling with issues that are being masked by nicotine use, drug use, or hanging with other high risk kids. I now encourage parents of middle school and high school aged kids to talk openly about vaping, juuling, and other marijuana use especially since in half the country marijuana has been legalized and that opens the debate to kids questioning how bad could this really be if it is legal.