‘Tall Cop’ talks about vape pens, new drugs

by: Fritz Busch, a reporter with the New Ulm, Minnesota newspaper "The Journal"

SLEEPY EYE — A former six-foot, nine-inch basketball player at DePaul and San Francisco State University talked about drug and alcohol abuse issues including vape pens to a variety of people at the Sleepy Eye Event Center Tuesday.

Sponsored by the Brown County Underage Substance Abuse Coalition (USAC), the event included training for professionals in the afternoon and community/parent training in the evening by Boise, Idaho law enforcement officer Jermaine Galloway.

Galloway talked to nurses, high school principals, teacher, counselors, law enforcement and other professionals from up to 100 miles from Sleepy Eye about drug and alcohol issues.

School Resource (police) Officers have told Galloway that school lavatories are like vaping lounges.

Information included an educational bulletin on JUUL Vape (aka “nick stick” pens with sweet smelling nicotine pads that come in flavors including mango, cool mint and others.

Brown County USAC Program Director Abigail Schwab said one Vape pod has as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes (or 200 puffs).

Small and rectangular, JUULs look like a USB connection while being charged, often at school or even at home in the presence of parents.

Galloway said he has found JUUL vape pens sold in convenience stores, smoke shops and other retail establishments.

“In some stores, I have seen traditional tobacco on the back wall and JUUL vape pods at the counter top, inches from my reach,” Galloway said.

A three-part system includes a charging port, vape pen and vape pod. Charging ports have USB attachments so it can be charged in a laptop. The pen sits on the charging port. Nicotine pods lodge into the top of vape pens.

In addition, users can buy colored skins online with designs that can be wrapped on the JUUL to add different looks.

JUULs are activated when a user takes a drag from the top of the device (pod). The pens have on-off switches making it quick and easy to take a drag from the device.

Fruity tastes and lack of a lingering odor add to user popularity.

JUUL popularity can be researched on social media and websites including YouTube, EBay, Instagram and Pinterest.

For more information, visit www.tallcopsaysstop.com.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.