Student Vaping a Concern in High Schools Nationwide

Nic Franchini, Sports Editor, Senior

Vaping is an epidemic that is spreading like a cancer. The newest addiction among teenagers is these vapor-filled devices that give little more than a head rush. Devices such as Stig, Eon, Blue, JUUL, and Logic have become extremely popular on social media and to young adults. This scourge has attacked high school and college campuses and caused elected officials to take action.

Forty-nine states have enacted legislation that restricts youth access to e-cigarettes. Only Pennsylvania has not. But as Timothy Williams and Jose A. Del Real stated in their September 19 New York Times article, the various state laws have created “a state-by-state patchwork of rules” that might do little to prevent young people from vaping.

Nicotine is a silent killer. One cartridge of these discrete devices contains as much nicotine as thirty cigarettes (at least 1.5 packs)

Dr. Karen Haught, a California public health official, told CNN, “Severe pulmonary injury is associated with vaping. E-cigarettes can potentially cause severe lung injury that may even lead to death.”

The nicotine in cigarettes is different than that in vape devices because cigarette nicotine has smaller particles which create easy absorption into the lungs. The nicotine in electronic cigarettes, delivered at colder temperatures, gets stuck in the upper lung and takes much longer to absorb.

Tobacco claims more lives in one year than HIV, car accidents, and gun-related deaths combined. The medical reason for these deaths is the carts and pods that contain, not nicotine, but cannabis. These cannabis oil-filled carts are commonly laced with other drugs, vitamin E acetate being the main additive. This is very dangerous since it is extremely toxic and makes the body more susceptible to illness.

A student who prefers to remain anonymous said, “Once the addiction starts, it’s very hard to stop. As time passes, the desire for more increases and you start to buy more pods/disposables. It might not seem like a lot of money, but it adds up quick. After months, you look at the graveyard of all the empty pods and dead disposables and can get a feel of how much you spend. Hundreds of dollars spent on hurting yourself, money just wasted.”

Although there have been many studies concerning vaping and e-cigarettes, we do not have enough data yet to fully understand all the hazards and effects linked to these devices. It took decades to begin to understand and act upon cigarettes and it may take us decades more to understand the effects of e-cigarettes. But one thing that seems to be becoming clearer is this: the long-term harmful effects of vaping are not worth the short-term thrill of the high they produce.