JUULs in Schools – What Educators Can Do

You may or may not have heard of JUUL until now, but there’s a good chance your students have. There’s also a good chance many of them are using JUUL and becoming addicted to nicotine, or worse. The following are facts that you, as an educator, should be aware of. And some tips to help protect our youth from the dangers of JUUL.

What is JUUL?

While JUUL has only recently come under heavy scrutiny, the e-cigarettes for which the company is named first appeared on the market in 2015. Since, JUUL has fueled a vaping epidemic educators are devoting an enormous amount of time and financial resources to control. The JUUL device is compact and thin and easily evades detection; it can easily be mistaken for a thumb drive or pencil-lead container. JUULs can be loaded with small flavor pods filled with liquid nicotine that, unlike cigarettes, leave only a sweet-smelling vapor when used.

While JUULing doesn’t produce the same smell or smoke as cigarettes, they nevertheless pose a risk to those who use them. A single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as 30 to 40 cigarettes. And while nicotine has repeatedly been shown to threaten and adversely impact the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, JUULing is falsely regarded by many as a “safe” form of smoking or a way to wean oneself off cigarettes. JUUL is creating an entire generation of nicotine addicts – who also face the prospect of coronary and pulmonary harm – while misleading users into believing it’s a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

In fact, JUUL is currently facing multiple lawsuits across the country for mischaracterizing the health problems caused by its products. Click here to learn more about this.

The ease with which JUULs can be purchased and the small “footprint” that using them leaves behind have created a problem in schools across the country. JUUL and other e-cigarette companies have aimed their marketing directly at teens by producing skins and other accessories to make the devices more appealing. It’s the same playbook we saw Big Tobacco use in the ‘80s and ‘90s; aggressively marketing to our youth while deflecting responsibility and blame.

We can’t let them take another generation of kids. Just like the cigarette companies, JUUL must be held accountable. The Lanier Law Firm is working with educators and school districts to protect students and their families and to recoup the costs incurred to fight this epidemic.

What can you do?

Look for Warning Signs: As an educator, you have a special relationship with your students. Over time, you get to know them and can often tell when something seems out of the ordinary. Side effects of JUUL include dehydration and bloody noses. A student may seem anxious or irritable. He or she may ask to use the restroom more frequently in order to use. If you think something’s wrong, speak up. Use your best judgment on how to proceed. Talk to your class so as not to single out or draw unwanted attention to any one student. Depending on your relationship, you may be able to find an opportunity to speak with the student alone and voice your concern.

Spread Awareness: If any of the information presented here is new to you, you’re not alone. With that in mind, it’s important to take what you learn and help educate others. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can share this web page. On a near daily basis, we’re hearing new information about the deceptive practices used by JUUL in its marketing. Share what you learn with others. Explore having an expert come in and speak to faculty and students about the dangers posed by JUUL. This can be coordinated with your local police department or campus School Resource Officer. Letters home, phone calls to parents and one-on-one meetings are other options. Ask your campus’ administration if a communication plan is being implemented at the district level.

Take Practical Steps: As every educator knows, telling students something is wrong is no guarantee they’ll stop doing it. If JUULing has become a serious problem on your campus, it may be necessary to take concrete steps to help stop its use. Front doors can be removed from student restrooms to discourage students from JUULing inside. Sensors that detect JUUL vapor can be installed. Teachers can limit the number of students they let out in the hall during class. Some of these steps, while small, can have a big impact.

Put a System in Place: Failing to take adequate steps against a small problem today may lead to a bigger problem tomorrow, so it may be necessary to impose severe consequences on students caught JUULing in school. It should be clear that smoking, e-cigarettes and vaping in all their forms are strictly against the campus code of conduct. JUUL devices found at school should be confiscated, and those using them should know they may face suspension or expulsion.  While the problem will affect different campuses in different ways, the district should have a singular policy that it’s united behind.

Remember – if you see something, say something. JUULing has become a serious problem and is having a serious effect not only on students, but on the lives of those around them. As educators, it’s our job to help students succeed. Giving them the tools to make correct choices will help them and their entire campus.

Compensation in a JUUL Addiction Lawsuit

If you have or know of a child that has become addicted to nicotine as a result of JUUL use, you may be able to seek damages for:

  • Past and future medical expenses that result from the injuries, including addiction treatment.
  • Past and future pain and suffering (physical and mental) caused by the injuries, and the treatment and recovery process.
  • Past and future loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive damages, if appropriate.

Please contact us using the form on this page for a free case evaluation.