Study suggests US teachers need to be more alert to use of Juul in school

The use of Juul and other e-cigarettes has risen to “epidemic levels” among students in the US, yet there is a lack of awareness and response within schools, according to a new survey.

The research, reported under the title “Juul in school”, by the Truth Initiative Schroeder Institute in Washington DC, measured awareness of Juul among teachers and administrators, e-cigarette policies, and barriers to enforcement in schools. It found that while two-thirds of respondents had heard of a product called Juul, less than half accurately identified a photo of a Juul as a vaping device or e-cigarette.

While over 80% noted that their school had an e-cigarette policy, only 43% worked in schools whose policy specifically included Juul. Those whose schools had an e-cigarette policy noted that both the discreet appearance and difficulties in identifying the origin of vapour or scent made the policy difficult to enforce.

While awareness of Juul was higher among high school teachers (83%) than among middle school teachers (78%), the report suggests efforts to increase awareness among staff are essential to help prevent or reduce youth use.

Meanwhile, other researchers have found that enforcing a requirement for shops and other retail outlets to have an e-cigarette retail licence may be a useful policy tool in reducing vaping by teenagers.

The study “E-cigarette licensing policy and e-cigarette use among adolescents”, by S Azagba and others at the University of Utah School of Medicine, looked at whether Pennsylvania’s 2016 law requiring a retail licence for the sale of e-cigarettes was associated with decreased use.

The results showed that e-cigarette use among Pennsylvania youngsters was reduced by 5% and 7% when compared to their counterparts in the control New York and Virginia, with a corresponding drop of 21% and 30% from the baseline prevalence of use in 2015.

– Gina Clarke ECigIntelligence contributing writer

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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