Camden County Sheriff’s Office warns parents of dangerous vaping trend

Posted at 11:06 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 23:08:33-05

CAMDEN COUNTY, N.C. - It looks like a small thumb drive, but the only thing Juuls are storing may be toxins in your body.

"There's a condition now called 'popcorn lung,' which is where the chemicals used to dye popcorn is in the nicotine in the Juul pod, and that's what's causing the 'popcorn lung.' And once you have it, it's irreversible," says Michael Lawrence, School Resource Officer.

School Resource Officer Michael Lawrence shows parents the Juul device that looks like a USB drive

Some companies are marketing flavors to the younger generation with the low pricing and fruity flavors. But, officials say vaping and juuling can be highly addicting.

Related: Juul to eliminate social media accounts, stop retail sales of flavors 

Kimberly Westbrook was in attendance at tonight's meeting and says she has many concerns about social media and her kids being exposed to whatever is out there. But, also says she's worried about the new, hip devices.

"If everyone's doing it and there are flavors and all of these other options that are out there that weren't there, they are not going to smell like smoke. Who cares if you smell like strawberry. That may be of interest to them and they may want to try it," says Westbrook.

Related: Chesapeake man meets with members of Congress about protecting kids from candy-flavored tobacco 

Easy to hide in schools, officials in Camden County say just recently a sixth grader was caught with one in class. The most concerning realization parents and officials have is the devices haven't been around that long to know the lasting impacts.

"One Juul pod has as much nicotine in it as 20 cigarettes. But, the kids won't smoke 20 cigarettes - they'll do that Juul pod," says Officer Lawrence.

Some parents - now enlightened- say it's meetings like these that help them feel less dated.

If you were not able to attend Thursday night's meeting, the sheriff's office will be holding another one on December 4 at Camden High School.