Lack of Vaping Education Clouds the Dangers of Vapes

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Lack of Vaping Education Clouds the Dangers of Vapes

jomo tech

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jomo tech

jomo tech

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There’s nothing like walking into the bathroom and smelling the artificial scent of mangoes. Some may think it’s a new air freshener, but others know better. What they are actually smelling is the remains of student vaping.

Vaping is an epidemic taking over the country, especially among teenagers and young adults. As a high school student, I am surrounded by vaping every day. Students inhale e-cigarettes mindlessly, sugar-coating the dangerous reality of vaping.

Vapes are relatively new, and many believe they are harmless. Yet the National Institute of Health says e-cigarettes contain many toxic chemicals, including nickel, chromium, cadmium and carcinogens. Along with this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 805 lung injury cases and 13 deaths due to vaping as of Oct. 1. Thirteen may seem like a small number, but those were 13 beautiful lives that the world will never get back.

It’s horrifying to think that my classmates could fall to this fate. The most disturbing part is they vape without knowledge on how e-cigarettes break down their bodies. We never grew up learning the dangers of vaping as we did smoking. Schools advise students to not vape but never explain why. This results in teenagers carelessly vaping, thinking it’s safe.

Along with a lack of knowledge, one of the main reasons teens vape is for social appearance. For teens, vaping is the “next big thing.” If you do it, you’re automatically cooler, but if you don’t, you’re a boring goody-two-shoes. Once students pick up the vape, they’re hooked by the addictive nicotine and flavorings, and the cycle continues. We attempt to combat the vaping surge, but in the wrong ways. Beginning in July, Virginia raised the age for purchasing tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21. While this policy recognizes the dangers of vaping, it doesn’t help. Kids access vapes through older family members, siblings and friends and continue to vape in public and private spaces.

A better solution to stopping student vaping is to educate teenagers on the dangers of e-cigarettes, and how it’s not as cool as it seems. If students learned about the harm vaping can cause, and specifically that it can cause death, we would be a lot more hesitant to pick up a vape.

You may look at this issue and say, “This doesn’t affect me, why should I care?” However, it does affect you. You never know who will fall next — your children, your friends, your coworkers — even you. We need to take this vaping crisis seriously. We can’t keep looking at it as a passing trend, because it’s not. This is a real issue that is hurting and killing real people.

If you or a family member is currently suffering from drug addiction, visit www.QuitNow.net/Virginia or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

By Rachel Singleton – Editor-in-Chief