“More than 44,000 students took part in the 2018 annual survey of drug, alcohol, and cigarette use in eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders. About 37 percent of twelfth graders reported vaping in 2018, compared with 28 percent in 2017,” according to a monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health. Vaping has become a problem among the youth in the United States. Many students found that they have a taste for the nicotine substance. Not only is it addictive, but it has also proven to be harmful to the body.
Vaping has become a serious problem among underage people in the classroom and out.
“I went through the yearbook, and I could point out at least 50 percent of the senior class has vaped or currently vapes” senior Thomas Oller said.
Schools all over the United States have put vaping policies into place, but they have done little to no good. To add to the problem, most students feel that it’s a safer alternative to smoking and has no health risks.
”I think about 80 percent of people in my grade have vaped, but I don’t know in the past 30 days. I’d say about 60 percent of people regularly vape in my grade,” sophomore Brad Skinner said.
Most of the students at Rock Creek High School are quite negligible on the topic, but it hasn’t stopped them from inhaling the substance.
Rock Creek High School principal Eric Koppes has noticed the problem, but can do very little to stop students from vaping. The school can only punish the students after the fact.
“We do have an automatic three-day suspension, and then 20 days activity suspension on the first offense,” Koppes said.
The policies in place have strict consequences for students, but is it enough to discourage them? Koppes would also like to do more, but there is only so much he can do.
“The best thing we can do is try and educate the kids, hopefully the kids will educate each other. It’s going to take some time,” Koppes said.
Cigarettes and vaping go hand in hand and the myth that vaping is safer has been debunked because no one knows the long terms effects of E-juice in the respiratory system, but it has been known to kill in other ways. In the instance of homemade E-juice, many different chemicals are put into the juice for flavor and consistency, but the most dangerous is Vitamin E. This is a federally regulated substance so the companies that are regulated by the FDA (like juul) can’t contain these dangerous substances.
Like cigarettes, vaping has found an appeal to the nations youth and the social quo of vaping isn’t as bad as smoking cigarettes, but it could potentially be just as dangerous. So, in turn juuling is safer but still has negative effects and could completely destroy someone’s lungs just in a different way than cigarettes.
Article by Staff Members Elijah Grenot and Kaleb Jackson
Photo by Staff Member Kaleb Jackson