"Juulane" a Candid Masterpiece

By Simran Rajani

With 4,000+ views, JUULane, a short film by the club “TakeTU,” a group of actors and producers on a light-hearted satire mission, went viral at Tulane; hitting nerves while emphasizing and hyperbolizing the contagious epidemic that is the “JUUL.” An epidemic that seems to have taken off, as an actress expressed in the video, “there is nothing better than a fresh hit off of a new [JUUL] pod.”

JUULane seamlessly laces humor and facts to highlight a major issue that is “fueling the next generation of nicotine addicts,” making it a candid masterpiece. The rise of nicotine dependency and access is exacerbated by the fact that many college-aged students look down upon smoking the ‘old-fashioned way.’ Public health campaigns have done their job: smoking cigarettes is no longer as trendy as it once was; it’s deemed ‘nasty’ by many. And yet, these same students are ingesting just as much harmful nicotine, alongside other chemical substances, using a cute, slick, and stylish device: the JUUL. The main audience takeaways from the film JUULane are:

  1. 1 little pod is equivalent to 1 whole pack of cigarettes (nicotine-wise), and students (on average, as reported,) are finishing a pod every 1-3 days.

  2. Students spend an obscene amount of money on pods and JUUL devices themselves, averaging to about 5 dollars every day or two days just for pods. (A pack of pods can cost, in New Orleans, anywhere from $14-$22, making each pod around $5.)

  3. Withdrawal symptoms of the JUUL DO exist, but most Tulane students have yet to experience these, as the JUUL epidemic seems to have an unstoppable force.

The intention of this article isn’t to convince you not to JUUL. We know everyone will do it anyway-- frick, half of the Rival does it. The point is to raise the discussion and highlight this trend for what it is: a public health crisis. Before purchasing JUUL products, or alternative brands, such as the Sourin, Sourin Air, Phixx, or JUNO, it is vital to know what you are getting yourself into. The head rush brought about by a mixture of toxic aerosol chemicals, nicotine, and artificial flavoring that causes drastic weight loss (your Mom will think you’re not eating enough), a reduced appetite, makes exercising more difficult and deprives your brain of oxygen. Little do most Tulane students realize that giving up the JUUL can bring about “irritability, depression, anxiety, throat pain and headaches,” as mentioned in TakeTU’s JUULane.

JUULane’s effectiveness lies in the fact that it comes from a student perspective, and, it’s not just anti-JUUL propaganda; most of those who produced it do JUUL, including the filming staff! We can relate to the people that created this movie, and while some critics have argued that it’s too long or does not contain enough information, or even offends some drug addicts during the ‘juul-on-spoon-with-lighter’ bit, the truth is that it does capture the true essence and dilemma of the JUUL movement. As Connor Bolinski, actor in JUULane, posed- in character- “most people [we] know, JUUL.” And if you pay attention, there truly are “clouds being blown into the air,” everywhere we go-- the library, the B-school, dorm rooms, and sometimes even in class… during lecture, as Connor phrases it. Like, seriously?

It seems that most freshmen who enter Tulane eventually try the JUUL and often begin to borrow it off of their friends, roommates, and random people at the Boot. The JUUL originally evolved into an affirmation of how “cool” someone is. This is slowly losing credibility in colleges as everyone JUULs. The JUUL represents a toxic force, that is nicotine and other smoking addictions, which plagues college campuses, high schools, and unfortunately, even middle schools in America.

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One of JUULane’s downfalls was presenting the harms the JUUL can cause but did not introduce steps to reform for students. Steps Juul-smoking students can take to continue enjoying the JUUL while limiting themselves include budgeting, by limiting the number of pods one purchases over a certain period, making sure they are not ingesting harmful amounts of nicotine or spending their entire allowance on JUUL pods, weed, Adderall and alcohol. Lastly, maybe try not taking your JUUL everywhere. Like, do we need it half-way through a 50-minute Gender and Society Lecture? Nope. Ask yourself, “do I really want to JUUL right now? Will I even get a head-rush? Or is it the motion of JUULing that I’m addicted to?” Guys, if you aren’t getting the headrush after hitting it for a while, don’t waste your damn pod! That shit is expensive, not to mention harmful. Also, don’t be afraid to say “no” to people who want to hit or try your JUUL.  

So before you fall in love with the JUUL, like most people already have, think twice. Consider, maybe, why you really are drawn to the JUUL. Is it for the credential? The head rush? The constant stimulation in an ADD-ridden environment?

But, the Rival and TakeTU aren’t the only organizations to have caught this sneaky but lethal epidemic. The FDA has taken action towards deterring young non-smokers from getting caught up in an addiction that’s a lot more serious than it may have seemed in the past.

The JUUL headquarters has been recently raided by the Federal Drug Administration who officially deemed JUUL a harmful product due to inhumane nicotine levels that have plagued at least 11% of middle and high schoolers; yes, that means that there are 11 and 12-year-olds smoking! The JUUL, at the end of the day, is the same as a cigarette. It’s nicotine, put into a classy-lookin’ device that is making us all “NicoTEENS.”

Check Out TakeTU’s latest movie: “Shit Tulane kids DON’T Say” and blog opinions here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFNkJAtju7s