(WAFF) - A satisfying alternative to cigarettes could be appealing to your kid. If you're familiar with vaping countless youth are now flocking to "juuling."
This week, the Massachusetts attorney general announced that they are investigating the e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs Inc and two online retailers to determine whether they violated state law by failing to prevent minors from buying their products.
"It's extremely popular I've seen many people use it and it's easy to get around school campus," said Huntsville High School senior Matthew Hanson.
Juuls are becoming a big concern at school. The devices are making its way into the hands of teens even though it's supposed to be for adults 21 and up.
"People will do it in the bathroom, people will do it in their cars, and some people even do it in the classroom," Hanson added.
Juuls are a unique type of e-cigarette because it closely resembles a USB flash drive. They can be easily disposed and don't produce a smell. According to the JUUL website, a single pod has as much nicotine as 200 cigarette puffs. That's like smoking a pack a day.
"You can add a lot of different toxins into the vaping oil that's in there and studies show that there is lots of metal actually in these fluids so it's actually worse for you than smoking cigarettes," said Clete Wetli, admissions director at Huntsville Recovery.
Wetli said juuls are a serious danger to people's lungs. He hopes parents study up on this new fad before school begins and have a heart-to-heart with their kids about them.
"Parents should sit down and talk with their children about it explain the dangers and explain how to say no, especially when it comes to the peer pressure of doing this and why it's important to do that," Wetli added.
The company said they want to be part of the solution to end combustible smoking, not part of a problem to attract youth, never smokers or former smokers to nicotine products.
"Although the company said they are not permitting this people can still easily get it," said Hanson. "It's dangerous to our community and its dangerous to our students."
A Truth Initiative web panel survey of 1,018 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States showed that 37 percent of the kids using these devices don't even know it's nicotine they're inhaling.
A factor that could keep kids away from juuls is that they are not cheap. A juul "starter" kit, which includes a USB charger, a warranty, and a four-pack of the flavored Juulpods, costs $49.99 if you buy it online from the company. Refill pods cost $15.95 for a four-pack.
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