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Schools are cordoning off bathrooms in Somerset Hills school districts so that they can reduce vaping amongst students. Students are vaping undetected in the classroom. Nearly 10% of children aged 15-17 have used a Juul.* Juul cartridges contain the nicotine equivalent of a whole pack of cigarettes. 63% of 15-24 yr-olds report being unaware JUULs always contained nicotine. Vapes with attractive flavors – even without nicotine – have the potential to harm. Researchers have found up to three times the levels of five potentially cancer-causing chemicals in urine tests of young vapers compared to non-vapers.


Well, as a professor at Harvard Medical School said, “If you were to design your ideal nicotine-delivery device to addict large numbers of United States kids, you’d invent Juul. It’s absolutely unconscionable. The earlier these companies introduce the product to the developing brain, the better the chance they have a lifelong user.” According to a recent study,** 15- to 17-year-olds have over 16 times greater odds of being current JUUL users compared to those between 25 and 34 years old.


This bothers us here at Community in Crisis – a lot. Not only are we looking at erasing 20 years of progress in smoking prevention and creating a generation of smokers, but we’re also looking at studies that show that children using any drug — legal or illegal — are more likely to develop an addiction, or substance-use disorder. Simply put, the younger the brain, the more easily its reward circuits can be manipulated.

If parents truly understood how the brain develops and the effects of substances — e-cigarettes, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and the like — on their child’s developing brain, they would have a very different view about the wisdom of the use of these neuro-active agents during the adolescent and teenage years. It’s our job to get the word out!