CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's a new fad among high school students parents may not even know about. It's called the JUUL.

The JUUL looks similar to a USB drive but works like a vaping device with nicotine cartridges. It's advertised as an alternative to cigarettes and quickly becoming one of the biggest trends in Charlotte area vape shops.

"It's kind of just taken over the market and blew up and people are loving it."

One JUUL pod has enough nicotine to equal a pack of cigarettes, making it appealing to ex-smokers.

"My customers rave about it. They basically say that it's stronger than a vaporizer so it gives them more of a cigarette sensation."

But the JUUL is also attracting attention from teens wanting to test the limits.

"The argument with this device is that potentially you could get more nicotine into your system."

Another concern is the design: the JUUL is small and easy to hide. It was among the vapes confiscated at East Lincoln High School last fall.

"I want parents to be aware and alert that students are accessing vapes."

In North Carolina, you must be at least 18 to buy vaping products. But according to the latest survey data of Charlotte Mecklenburg High School students, nearly 48 percent had tried them.

The JUUL's website states minors shouldn't use any nicotine product, including theirs. But as devices get smaller and more attractive, parents need to be on alert.

A representative for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools said the JUUL has not been heard of in any the district's schools. If found, it would be considered inappropriate and subject to disciplinary action.