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C.O. high schoolers get hooked on popular e-cigarette


In high school, it seems like there’s always a popular trend. And right now, it appears to be an e-cigarette called JUUL.

It looks like a USB flash drive and can fit in a closed hand. There are several flavors of JUUL, including creme brûlee and mango.

And those flavors make JUUL and e-cigarettes extremely popular to teens, Deschutes County’s tobacco prevention coordinator, Penny Pritchard, said Friday.

“So there’s a trend where we’ve federally banned candy-flavored cigarettes. However we haven’t banned e-juices,” Pritchard said. “So there are currently 7,700 flavors on the market and e-juices flavors available to youth, and that’s really attractive to youth, because they perceive flavors as less harmful.”

But what makes it really popular, and different from traditional cigarettes, is the huge cloud of vapor that billows out of the device with every puff, said La Pine High School student Trentyn Tennant.

“Vaping is a lot more popular, and I think a lot of it has to do with the cloud, like the amount of smoke you can get out of your mouth and that kind of thing,” Tennant said. “I hear that a lot, like, ‘I can do this, I can blow an O’ or whatever.”

Tennant also said students like the “head high” vaping offers. But it’s that head high that’s leading to addiction.

“I see kids getting addicted all the time,” he said. “And I heard of one of my friends not too long ago say, ‘Oh, I was only at the .3 nicotine level.’ And then he’s like, ‘Now I’m at 18, I don’t know what really happened. It’s just, I can’t do .3, it doesn’t do anything for me, I don’t want that any more’.”

Tennant said he’s seen the popularity of JUUL grow in the past few months, and that almost everyone knows what “juuling” is.

But what they may not know is how much nicotine each pod can pack.

According to the JUUL website, each pod contains 5 percent nicotine, which is equal to one pack of cigarettes, or 200 puffs.

The principal at La Pine High School said that until Friday, he hadn’t heard about JUUL or ‘juuling’.

And the Redmond School District also said it hasn’t been an issue.

As for Bend, NewsChannel 21 heard from students and teachers that JUUL has been a problem at both Summit and Mountain View high schools.

We reached out to the Bend-La Pine Schools officials a few weeks ago to confirm that, but, they haven’t commented on the issue.

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