SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- While “Juuling” is causing headaches for some school systems around the country, a Springfield Public Schools spokesperson says they, “are not seeing an issue as of now.”
“Juul is a closed system 'pod style' vape.” Sunray Vapors owner Rob Sands said. “It's a direct draw. It's similar to a cigarette type sensation, kind of like the old vape technology, but perfected. They're very small, there's no buttons to push, and they're just very convenient.”
It’s one of the newer designs in vaping, and while the Juul brand is most synonymous with it, there are others.
The reason why schools and parents are having trouble with it is that they are so small that they’re easy to hide, and even when they’re in the open, they look like USB flash drives and can be charged via a laptop.
Some school administrators have gone to drastic measures to curb the fad in their buildings. According to USA Today, a school in D.C. removed the doors from its bathroom stalls to take away a potential hiding spot. The Upper Dublin School District in Pennsylvania banned flash drives to avoid confusion, according to WTXF-TV.
"We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors," a Juul spokesperson said in an email to KY3. "No minor should be in possession of a Juul product."
Sands says he first heard of the craze late last summer when Missouri State students returned for the fall semester. The ones from bigger cities, like Kansas City and St. Louis, asked Sands if he had any Juuls in stock.
Since he stocked them, he says business is through the roof. "It just gives a cigarette-type vape," he said.
The cigarette-like sensation is part of the appeal, and Sands credits vaping with helping him quit cigarettes. Proponents of vaping say even though it contains nicotine, many other substances found in cigarettes are absent.
“High school kids, like anything, are going to get their hands on it,” Sands said. “But, there's a lot more dangerous things out there.”