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LI addiction experts concerned about ‘Juuling’ among kids

While some e-cigarettes don’t contain nicotine, Juul e-cigarettes do.

Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a Juul, a type

Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a Juul, a type of e-cigarette meant for adults, at a news conference at his Manhattan office on Oct. 15, 2017. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

A type of e-cigarette meant for adults that’s called a Juul — and which has spawned the verb “juuling” — is being used by teenagers “in droves,” says Barry Zaks, director of the nonprofit Huntington Drug and Alcohol Counseling Center.

“It’s tiny, it looks like a USB drive,” Zaks says. Like other e-cigs, a battery heats flavored liquid into a vapor that the kids inhale, he says. But while some e-cigarettes don’t contain nicotine, Juul e-cigs do.

Zaks will be part of a free panel open to the public from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 21 at the Half Hollow Hills Library at 55 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Dix Hills. The discussion is called “Vaping & More: Changing the Landscape of Addiction.”

“We’re going to go over some facts and misconceptions about vaping, e-cigarettes and their safety,” Zaks says. “We’re going to help parents identify vaping paraphernalia and go over how it works.”

Vaping, and “juuling” in particular, is something schools on Long Island are battling, says Patricia Folan, director of The Center for Tobacco Control for Northwell Health. “It’s certainly becoming a thing of concern for parents and teachers. We really don’t know about these products,” Folan says.

The March edition of “Pediatrics” featured a study of vaping with this conclusion: “Although e-cigarette vapor may be less hazardous than tobacco smoke, our findings can be used to challenge the idea that e-cigarette vapor is safe, because many of the volatile organic compounds we identified are carcinogenic.”

The Juul company says this about minors using its product: “We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors . . . We welcome the opportunity to collaborate and engage with parents and educators.”

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