Vaping trend gaining popularity among Knoxville college students

Local News

A new e-cigarette is gaining popularity on college campuses called a Juul and it looks like a flash drive. It’s meant to help people quit smoking, but some students said their classmates use it because it’s a new trend.

A couple times an hour at Hookah Hookup in Knoxville, Ryan Whitelaw said college students come in to buy a Juul pack. He found it gained popularity within the last year. He said most of his customers are adults but 25 percent of sales come from college students.

“Beginning of the school year, we were selling five or six a day. Within a couple weeks, we were selling 80 to 100 a day,” said Whitelaw, regional manager.

Most students knew about this product and many said it is common to see it around campus.

“I actually know a girl who has one that doesn’t smoke or use nicotine products,” said Megan Bryan, student.

It’s an alternative to smoking cigarettes, but each Juul cartridge still contains 50 mg of nicotine. Dr. Eric Penniman with Summit Medical Group said it can be dangerous if teens use a nicotine product for a long period of time.

“The problem with any nicotine is it is a very addictive drug. It is just below cocaine on the addiction scale,” he said.

Not many vape stores in Knoxville sell the product. Customers will most likely find it at a convenience store, like some Pilot gas stations.

Right now, anyone over 18 is allowed to buy this device. However, customers must be over 21 to buy it online.

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