Tobacco prevention coordinators at Fargo Cass Public Health have seen an increase in the number of youth using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and they want parents to be aware specifically about the use and popularity of an e-cigarette called a JUUL. Parents in Cass County are encouraged to learn what these vaping devices look like and to talk to their children about the dangers of using these products.
A JUUL is a version of an e-cigarette and mimics the look of a USB stick, making it nearly impossible to spot. It charges with a laptop, fits in the palm of a hand and comes in flavors such as mango and mint. One JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and changes how the adolescent brain develops. According to North Dakota law, the definition of e-cigarettes includes the JUUL and other similar devices. This makes it illegal for anyone in North Dakota under the age of 18 to purchase, possess or use one of these devices. It is also illegal to use e-cigarettes indoors or within 20 feet of common entrances to public places and exits.
“We want parents to know there are e-cigarette devices available that do not look like a regular e-cigarette,” said Melissa Markegard, the tobacco coordinator and a certified tobacco treatment specialist with Fargo Cass Public Health. “The purchase, possession or use of any e-cigarette by anyone under the age of 18 is illegal and I encourage parents to have a conversation with their children about using these products and confiscate them if you see them.”