Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools concerned over new trend called ‘juuling’

Juuling is a way to vape nicotine but it looks more like a USB drive. Juuls come in fruity flavors.

They have become popular with high school students even though in North Carolina, you must be 18 to buy them. FOX8 On Your Side spoke with 17-year-old Elijah Harvey who told us that a lot of his friends use Juuls. He knows of students who vape at school.

"People do it in class with the larger classrooms with 30 to 50 people in them," he said.

Elijah and his mother talk about the pressures of drugs and alcohol. They're important conversations for any parent and child to have and his mom knows. She’s a pediatrician and warns her teenagers, but also her patients about vaping.

"It’s the chemical of nicotine that’s being delivered in a different way. One Juul pod contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes," said Dr. Becky Weinshilbaum. “Nicotine is a very addictive drug; it’s below heroin but it’s above alcohol in terms of its addictive qualities.”

Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools are worried about vaping for another reason. Kathy Fitzjefferies, the WSFCS Safe and Drug Free Schools program manager tells FOX8 that students are vaping synthetic cannabinoids.

"Some are getting this substance from the internet and China and who knows what’s in it and what ends up happening. They are smoking that and it is incredibly dangerous," she says.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is now considering how to change their drug violations policies to possibly include vaping.

"We are looking at how do we deal with this if there are concerns that there may be other things that they may be vaping that are not tobacco-related," Fitzjefferies said.