2 JUUL 4 Skool

Is teen vaping an epidemic at NPHS?


Quincey Epley

Many vapes and JUULs, which were confiscated by the principals, sit next to a quarter for size comparison.

Data from a poll of 264 NPHS students.and junior

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared teen vaping and JUULing a health epidemic, has this epidemic reached North Platte High School? In a poll of 264 NPHS students, 90.9% of participants said they have witnessed another high school student vape or JUUL. The FDA blames this widespread underage use on the appeal of the fruit-flavored juices and pods and the easy accessibility, junior Zeik Florea agrees. “My cousin got one, and my friend got one, and it seemed like everyone had one,” said Florea. “It’s way too easy to get a JUUL, even my 13-year-old cousin has one.” Teens often get their JUULs, vape pens, and juice or pods for them online, or have their older friends buy these devices for the younger students to use.

Teens are not just JUULing and vaping at home, though. 86.3% of surveyed NPHS students said they have seen other students vape or

Data from a poll of 264 NPHS students.

JUUL on school property. Florea said he sees it most often in bathrooms and locker rooms because there are not any cameras, so students think they are less likely to get caught in those areas, but students are also doing it in classrooms. A JUUL is small and looks similar to a USB drive, so it is easy to conceal them. “It’s addictive and it’s subtle, like if you’re doing other drugs at school, it’s pretty obvious. You can hide [a JUUL] and it will give you a buzz,” said Florea. Senior Jacob Hendren thinks JUULing at school is an issue, “At school, it’s prohibited, and getting suspended for JUULing is just stupid.”


Data from a poll of 264 NPHS students.

JUULing and vaping is better for a person’s health than smoking cigarettes due to the absence of many harmful chemicals, but that does not mean it is safe. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states one JUUL pod at a 5% nicotine level is equivalent in nicotine to a pack of cigarettes, which means it is
addictive and can harm brain development in people under 25 years old. Florea said, “Vaping is supposed to be a safe alternative to cigarettes, and it says that on the package. I’m against cigarettes because my grandpa has lung cancer, and if it can keep people off of cigarettes, it’s good.” Most students who are vaping and JUULing are not using the products to get themselves to stop smoking, but starting on these devices. “You’re only at school for three or four periods a day, and if you can’t go that long without it, there’s a problem,” said Hendren.