Since its inception, vaping has been seen as a substitute to smoking cigarettes, or as a way to quit cigarettes altogether. Vaping in itself has been a bit of a mystery since it was first introduced. Not much is known about what makes up the vapor and how it affects one’s health. But what is known is that nicotine is a primary agent in not just cigarettes, but e-cigarettes as well. While not as harmful as normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes still contain the addictive substance, and smoking e-cigarettes can have very similar effects as smoking normal cigarettes, namely the addiction.
But until recently, vaping has been seen as “healthy,” at least in comparison to cigarettes, and has been heavily adopted in our school culture. As of this article’s publication, there have been over 40 deaths caused by lung illnesses allegedly tied to vaping, as well as several thousand hospitalizations, many of which are cases with teens. Many lung and respiratory issues have been reported in relation to e-cigarettes, and because of this, the CDC has advised against using e-cigarettes while federal and state investigations into the health concerns are ongoing.
Teens are more susceptible to the negative effects of vaping due to their brains still being in the developmental process. To comment on the vaping epidemic in our school was our very own Mr. Heath, who gave some much needed insight on how vaping is affecting the school. Mr. Heath said, “The school’s staff have been doing what we can to make sure that vaping doesn’t interfere with students’ education, as many have missed class with the intent to vape in the restrooms; and while it is rather hard to catch, a solid ten percent of discipline referrals at the school have been for vaping.”
New restroom policies appear to be reducing the frequency of vaping in school. According to Mr. Heath, “We’ve seen a big decrease in student vaping since we moved the open restrooms to the 800 hallway.”