Vaping—We Should Be Worried

Katelyn Meza, News Editor

For centuries, the concept of smoking has developed from humble beginnings–from periodic ritualistic use to hazardous addiction. Today, a new trend for smoking has gained significant popularity—electronic cigarettes. The most popular brand of electronic cigarettes, the Juul, has especially captured the attention of teenagers. Because of the modern technology of electronic cigarettes, today the concept of smoking has shifted towards “vaping”.

To clarify the term and action, vaping is the inhalation of a vapor that has been created by the heating of water, chemicals, and concentrated nicotine or marijuana. The electronic cigarettes are powered by a lithium battery and rely on their cartridges to be filled with any special juice of the user’s choosing. Today, after vaping rates have drastically increased for teens, health experts are warning against the modern trend. 

Electronic cigarettes contain a concentrated form of nicotine, which is still a highly potent poison that can damage one’s intestines through inhalation. Nicotine is also still just as much of an addictive substance that is utilized to attract more consumers into continuously purchasing electronic cigarettes, just as it taunted the generation of our parents and grandparents. Today, these companies effectively target the youth through their assortment of flavors and colorful packaging. They have even advertised their products as a safer substitute for smoking through television commercials and magazine advertisements. These advertising methods are intended to hook as many consumers as possible to continue buying their products, including the juice cartridges themselves.

Recently, a teen from Nevada had experienced a tragic encounter with his electronic cigarette: the vaping tool exploded in his mouth and shattered his jaw. He was one of the 2,000 victims who have experienced these explosions and suffered severe burn injuries. This has raised many concerns about the possibility of overheating vape batteries as well as developing lung cancer.

Although most would agree with the concerns of vaping, some sources claim that electronic cigarettes are a healthier alternative for smoking. They posit that the substitute can help current smokers quit their habits and cravings in exchange for an electronic smoke that relies on a battery instead of a flame. What they fail to address are the dangerous similarities between the electronic cigarette and the normal cigarette that can cause severe health consequences in the future. Just like regular cigarettes, electronic cigarettes release chemicals that damage lung tissue and can potentially lead to lung cancer. Vaping also causes severe mood swings, frequent coughing, increased thirst, and increased acne breakouts. There is not currently long-term data about the health benefits of electronic cigarettes that exists, but there are multiple existing developments in lung cancer and exploding batteries that outweigh the “positives” of this product.

Therefore, as a student body, we need to be more aware of the dangers of vaping that can lead to serious health consequences. The concept of vaping to maintain a “cool” or “relaxed” image does not surmount the hazardous risks and permanent results of cancer and health deterioration. We have the intelligence and power to not fall for the trap cigarette companies utilize to target the youth. As teenagers, we should be very worried about the vaping epidemic and the safety and health of ourselves and our peers.

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