A new trend clouding Auburn's campus
“Will you help me find my Juul? I dropped it on the ground,” one college student yells into the ear of another at 1716 Bar. “A jewel?” the other replies not knowing precisely what they might be referring to, but can only imagine this student has misplaced their precious stone of some sort. This night marked the first time this confused Auburn student, unlike many others, had been exposed to the “wicked” and outrageously popular vaping device -- the Juul.
2018 had its fair share of epidemics and obsessions. College campuses across the nation started out the year with the concern for peoples consumption of tide pods, and later things shifted in smarter directions with the obsession of Apple’s airpods. However, a certain pod has exceeded boundaries in a world of addictions and has completely conquered the college campuses across America -- the Juul pods. Often mistaken for USB drives, Juul pods have sparked popularity and concern at Auburn University. Like many college towns, Auburn is overrun by the “younger generation” and their impressive ability to catch on to fads and trends, and this lovely village did not miss a beat when Juul pods became such a big thing.
Although Juul pods were introduced in 2015, it was not until two years later, when Juul separated from PAX labs, that the product reached market heights. Created by two former Stanford University design students, the Juul has become the top-selling vape device in the United States. So, how does this small product make such a significant impact, especially here in Auburn? First, the Juul pods are relatively low in cost, compact and can be described as “user-friendly.” Another one of the major pros, and the most significant, is the startling similarity it has to smoking cigarettes. The product was created to serve as a satisfying alternative to smoking cigarettes. However, the impact of the “Juul Wave” has created some conflict in Auburn.
“I use my Juul pretty much every day unless I lose it,” says Auburn senior Matt, who wished to omit his last name. “I started around November 2017 because I was smoking a lot of cigarettes while I was drinking.” Auburn students buy their Juuls in various different places. Matt bought his first at a Mapco and his second at a Circle K, but they are sold in grocery stores and vape shops as well. Recently, concern for underage use caused the Juul company to promise to remove the more novel nicotine flavors from shelves. However, recent reports have accused them of doing just the opposite. According to Auburn’s Smoke-Free Policy, smoking is strictly prohibited on campus, including the iPhone of e-cigarettes. But even with strict policies, legal allegations and unknown health implications, late nights and weekends in Auburn are muddled with a smoky haze because of these popular pods, as students go crazy for the “too cool Juul.”