Forsyth County authorities are warning parents and students of a vape or e-cigarettes product called Kronic Juice that if used incorrectly may cause seizures and unconsciousness.
According to Cpl. Doug Rainwater of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, products like Kronic Juice, Galaxy, Diamond and Lyft are new types of synthetic THC or CBD oil from China and are intended to be added to e-cigarette nicotine liquid for an added high.
Rainwater said that the problem has arisen from some students who intentionally “vape the liquid straight” and not as an additive. He said that this may cause a serious medical emergency. Symptoms can mimic an opioid overdose, repress respiratory function and increase one’s heartrate up to 170 bpm.
“It was never meant to be used like that,” Rainwater said. “From what we have seen, taking theses specific products with no [vape liquid] can cause serious health issues.”
Rainwater said that while these products are legal, many vape shops refuse to carry them due to their dangerous nature.
Several local vape shops, including North Georgia Vapor, Vapors Emporium, Victorious Vapors, Vape Alot and V8P Bar Cumming, told FCN that they do not carry these type of CBD oil products.
Randy Melton, owner of North Georgia Vapor, told the FCN that his store doesn’t carry CBD products because they are only about vaping and providing people an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
“To me, selling that kind of stuff makes you more of a ‘head shop,’’ Melton said. “That’s not me.”
Kevin Loftus, owner of Vapors Emporium, told the FCN that his shop does not carry Kronic and other similar products because the research that they have read points to it containing harmful chemical ingredients.
“I just think it’s really dangerous,” Loftus said, explaining that they have even seen the effects firsthand and that some products have, “messed up people [they] know.”
He added that while they don’t carry Kronic, they do carry some CBD oil products that they have researched fully and that they have found to have good properties.
“We are very careful with what we carry,” he said.
According to Jennifer Caracciolo, director of communications for Forsyth County Schools, in the past semester, two North Forsyth High School students have been transported to a hospital for medical problems associated with vaping CBD oils on campus.
She said that in that time period, a student from Forsyth Central High School student was punished for having and using Kronic Juice at a school function and another student was punished for the same reason in the fall.
After speaking with all of the high school principals in Forsyth, Caracciolo concluded that vaping has been an issue for several years at all of the high schools. Each has had one or more students punished for the possession or use of vapes on campus. She said that they have seen increased use of products like Kronic Juice over the past three months.
Caracciolo said that one of the problems they have is how hard new vape devices are to spot, some of them looking like everyday objects – phones, pens and jump flash drives.
“It is very, very challenging to catch our students,” Caracciolo said. “Students are bringing it in to schools in many ways that make it easy to conceal and very difficult to detect. You don’t have an odor and the devices are deceiving.“
Caracciolo said to deal with what they see as a growing “national epidemic,” Forsyth County School Superintendent Jeff Bearden is forming a committee of district employees to discuss the issues and educate parents and students of the dangers of vaping.“We support the FDA’s actions to protect kids by working to stop the use of e-cigarettes among our youth,” Bearden said. “One just needs to walk around a mall to see how prevalent they are among teenagers, both those that can legally buy them at 18 and for those that are younger.”
“Our committee will work to create information and provide resources to better education our youth and their parents,” he said.
In a recent work session, the city of Cumming approved a new ordinance to regulate vape shops that will allow the city to go in and inspect products and require certain new permits.
During that work session, Chief Casey Tatum and Mayor Troy Brumbalow discussed different vaping incidents at Forsyth County Schools, specifically the North Forsyth High School students that were taken to the emergency room this semester.
Rainwater said that one problem with regulation is that people can still go out of the county to get these products. He added that it is up to parents to make sure that their kids aren’t using dangerous products, and that education is the key to this problem.
“This starts at home,” Rainwater said. “If parents are allowing their kids to vape, they need to be sure they are vaping stuff that’s not going to harm them.”