Electronic cigarette use, including JUUL, has risen to epidemic levels among high school and middle school students in the United States. Schools serve as a key environment for prevention and intervention efforts to address e-cigarette use, yet little is known about the awareness of and response to e-cigarettes in schools. A newly published study of middle and high school teachers and administrators (n = 1,420) measured JUUL awareness, e-cigarette policies, and barriers to enforcement in schools.
- While two thirds of respondents had heard of a product called JUUL (68%), less than half accurately identified a photo of a JUUL as a vaping device/e-cigarette (47%).
- Awareness of JUUL (81%) was higher among high school teachers (83%) than among middle school teachers (78%).
- A large majority of respondents reported that their school had an e-cigarette policy (83%), but less than half of the sample worked in a school with a policy that specifically included JUUL (43%).
- Those working in a school with an e-cigarette policy in place noted that e-cigarettes’ discreet appearance (66%) and difficulties in identifying origin of vapor or scent (46%) made the policy difficult to enforce.
The researchers concluded that efforts to increase middle and high school staff awareness of the ever-evolving e-cigarette market are essential to help prevent youth use.
Source: Schillo et al. (2019). JUUL in School: Teacher and Administrator Awareness and Policies of E-Cigarettes and JUUL in U.S. Middle and High Schools. Health Promotion Practice, Sept 18. [Epub ahead of print]