CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Melia Culp started smoking a Juul in high school at the age of 16. At first, for Culp, smoking was just something she did on occasion, but before she realized it, she was doing it more often, and it became an addiction.
“Smoking was just cool in high school,” she said.
Culp described her experience of getting peer pressured into smoking.
Instead of spending time in the classroom, she and her friends would go into the bathroom to smoke their Juuls.
The Food and Drug Administration banned the company, Juul from selling their e-cigarettes in the U.S. on Thursday.
The FDA said Juul did not provide enough information to them about the risks their products can pose to their users.
However, Culp doesn’t believe the move by the FDA is enough to stop people from getting addicted, especially kids, saying their plan would go up in a puff of smoke.
“Kids are just going to find other vapes, there’s going to be some sort of black market going on, so taking Juul off the market isn’t going to fix anything,” she added.
She is trying to quit smoking nicotine after noticing she’s been getting more anxiety from it, but she said it’s going to be difficult.
“Kids shouldn’t be doing it, so stay in school, don’t smoke,” Culp said.
Dr. James Mobley, the health authority for San Patricio County, said smoking e-cigarettes can cause anxiety, nervousness, and brain fog, not just from smoking, but also from withdrawals.
He said while he has had some patients tell him smoking e-cigarettes helps them move away from traditional cigarettes, some people can also get addicted to e-cigs.
“They can help people quit or they can help people start, and I see a lot of people that go back and forth. They’ll smoke cigarettes and then for a period they’ll vape for a while and do the e-cigarettes and then they’ll go back. So, it’s not a one size fits all thing,” Mobley said.
Blaise Kiesel has been vaping for about a year now and said there aren’t too many benefits from smoking e-cigarettes.
Kiesel said kids shouldn’t start vaping because it will inhibit their growth process.
He added the FDA banning Juul products won’t help because there are other nicotine products on the market people can use.
“I feel like Juul’s been around for so long, it’s just kind of faded into the background. I mean it’s not even, I wouldn’t say it’s a popular product,” Kiesel said.