Juul E-Cigarettes have become an 'Epidemic' according to the FDA

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The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on the use of Juuls – the E-cigarettes that have become popular among teens.

After sending out a statement last Wednesday, the FDA has said they will remove certain E-cigarettes off the market if the manufacturers don't stop minors from purchasing the products.

In Gainesville, experts, public officials, and retailers are sharing what they have seen.

“Electronic based smoking device use has become an epidemic among our youth,” said John-Michael Gonzales a State Tobacco Policy Manager. "We have actually even seen an uptake in Juul use in middle schoolers in Florida. In one year it has increased 44 percent. Those aren’t even teenagers, they are children.”

7-Eleven manager Cori Robie says her store is one of the top sellers of Juul products in the area. “I’m selling 100 to 150 every week," Robie said.

Gonzales said the products are harmful for adults, but even more so to young adults and kids. Gonzales said, "the products are getting people hooked at a young age,for a young person it actually re-maps your brain to be more and more dependent on these things and can actually make you more susceptible to addiction in general.”

Juuls have a much higher nicotine content than cigarettes making them highly addictive.

Alachua County Schools Spokeswoman Jackie Johnson, says the district has had a non-vaping policy since 2011.

“We have heard from some schools that they have seen an increase in Juuls and other vaping items, but other schools have said they haven’t so it varies from school to school," Johnson said.

Robie says they card their Juul customers -- most of whom are 18 to 20 years-old. Her store is always selling a high quantity of Juuls, but when college kids are here she sells even more. "They are over the age of 18, so they are purchasing them. Whether they are sharing or not, I hope they are not, most of the people are young."

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