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The Real Cost of Vaping: Trends in e-cigarette use increases among students; developing a growing concern

According+to+PBS+News+Hour%2C+13+percent+of+eighth+graders%2C+23+percent+of+10th+graders+and+27+percent+of+12th+graders+have+tried+vaping%2C+considering+how+many+students+there+are+in+the+United+States+those+percentages+are+quite+large.
According to PBS News Hour, 13 percent of eighth graders, 23 percent of 10th graders and 27 percent of 12th graders have tried vaping, considering how many students there are in the United States those percentages are quite large.

According to PBS News Hour, 13 percent of eighth graders, 23 percent of 10th graders and 27 percent of 12th graders have tried vaping, considering how many students there are in the United States those percentages are quite large.

Spencer Olson

Spencer Olson

According to PBS News Hour, 13 percent of eighth graders, 23 percent of 10th graders and 27 percent of 12th graders have tried vaping, considering how many students there are in the United States those percentages are quite large.

Christie Nah, Co-Editor

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A sweet, tangy flavored vapor fills the bathroom stalls as a student lifts a small metal device to her lips, takes a deep lung hit and then exhales a large white cloud of smoke, creating a haze around her.

 

These handheld devices, also known as, e-cigarettes or “vape pens”, have been rising in popularity among youths, including the students at Creekview High School.

 

“Teenagers are definitely getting more and more interested in vaping,” junior Hannah Wallace said. “The tasty flavors of the juice, the cool vape tricks, and the fact it’s a safer alternative grabs their attention.”

 

Walking through the hallways, it is quite common to witness students using e-cigarettes or vape pens on campus.

 

“I’ve seen several people hide their vapes throughout the school day,” sophomore Erica Nah said. “They would take it out during classes and it distracts other students around them.”

 

According to the 2017-18 CHS Student Code of Conduct, possessing, using, giving, selling, or buying electronic cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems, electronic vaping devices, or personal vaporizers are prohibited on campus.

 

“We have had students who were caught with e-cigarettes,” campus officer Sid Kauffman said. “It’s not an easy process, but if we have potential suspicion of someone who possess any e-cig devices then we have the rightful authority to inspect.”

 

Aside from school policies, the Texas Department of State Health Services states that “purchasing or attempting to purchase e-cigarettes or tobacco products by a minor under 18 years of age is prohibited by law, sale or provision of tobacco products to a minor under 18 years of age is prohibited by law.”

 

Consequences for those who violate these rules will be considered as a Class C misdemeanor, including a fine of up to $500, a forced enrollment in a vapor/tobacco awareness program and community service.

 

Vaping is banned in all public school facilities. Abiding the law, e-cigarettes are categorized as a tobacco product but many question how vaping fits into smoking cigarette standards.

 

“Vaping has nothing to do with tobacco, it’s more of a water vapor base,” senior yearbook editor-in-chief Zoë Pettiford said. “It’s the nicotine aspect of tobacco but it’s not tobacco.”

 

The electronic cigarettes stimulates smoke by a mechanical heating element that is infused with nicotine and many believe it is a healthy alternative than smoking tobacco.

 

However, according to a study led by Edythe London, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, people may not realize that e-cigarettes are just as equally dangerous as any tobacco use.

 

The UCLA team of researchers found that “habitual users of e-cigarettes were more likely than non-users to have signs of oxidative stress and higher levels of adrenaline in the heart” — two renowned heart disease risk factors

 

The studies also show that although vaping does not contain tobacco, it still consists of nicotine, a highly toxic and addictive substance that has many long term effects on the body.

 

“With my years of research and knowledge, I truly believe that vaping is not a better alternative than smoking cigarettes,” Nurse Sally Albright said. “An e-cig contains nicotine, a harmful chemical substance, that potentially affects your brain, lungs, and your heart; therefore, it’s still a major health threat, particularly to the youth.”

 

Ignoring this risk, students, including minors under the age of 18, continue to spend money on these items.

 

A vaping starter kit can cost from a range of $40 to $80. Expensive enough, there is an additional purchase of a bottle of vape juice that ranges from $10 to $15 to the equipment.

 

“In the past year, our customers were mostly teenagers and millenials,” Owner of JK VAPES Jay Kim said. “The vape industry has been exponentially growing for the past five years and the market is still predicted to increase.”

 

The growing influence of vaping has been grasping the attention of teenagers and potentially younger students, developing a concern for CFBISD educators.

 

“Whether it’s smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, or whether it’s vaping nicotine, it can potentially harm people, and we worry about our students who get influenced,“ Principal Joseph LaPuma said. “We provide health classes, which are required for students to enroll, and we address the issue but we want parents to contribute as well. It’s one of those social norms that make us want students to make good choices and that’s what every school strives for.”

Spencer Olson
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that almost twice as many teenagers are now smoking e-cigs instead of traditional tobacco cigarettes.

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The Real Cost of Vaping: Trends in e-cigarette use increases among students; developing a growing concern