Teens Use Nicotine Without Knowing the Harmful Effects

Kailynne Besser

Walking into the bathroom and smelling a fruity mango scent as a group of kids rush to the door to see if a security guard is at the door is a common occurrence at Loy Norrix. When students see it’s just another student, they all go back to hitting their Juul or Suorin Drop/Air.
The neverending pattern is all quintessential to the vaping culture of school. Some kids take a hit to try to calm their nerves from the stress from their classes, or some use it as an excuse to avoid being in class at all. There are a lot of reasons that high school teens go to the bathroom to vape. Unfortunately, this restroom ritual is far more unhealthy than they realize.
There has been a lot of controversy about teenagers vaping and how minors are getting their source of nicotine and vapes. Federal law restricts those younger than eighteen to buy any nicotine products in the United States. Research into the effects of vaping on students has been limited due to the newness of the trend. However it is already clear that vaping can cause an addiction to nicotine, making the students crave their candy flavored juice even more.
Discussions have arisen over whether teens vape to reduce stress or just for recreational use and if vaping should be more acceptable for minors to participate in. 
“I love the feeling of the smoke going through my lungs,” said Loy Norrix senior Bailey Brandt who is 18 years old.
Brandt has been vaping since she was fourteen years old. Brandt started vaping because all her friends were vaping, and she wanted to try it. Her parents know she vapes and they don’t approve. Since she turned eighteen, which is the legal age for vaping, Brandt started vaping more, and now Brandt does not hide it as much as she did before.
“Schools should not have strong vaping rules because when you’re eighteen, you should be able to do it, but they should make a spot for the students and teachers for if they vape or smoke,” said Brandt
This type of thought is indicative of how students view vaping. Cigarettes have been demonized towards the youth for the past few decades, and rightly so because of their harmful effects, such as damage to the lungs. However students do not view nicotine addiction in the same way as smoking cigarettes.   
“Students believe that vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes,” said Loy Norrix health teacher Richard Labadie.
Students think that it is relatively safe, but it is actually very harmful for the human body, for example, making the body heal more slowly. There is a lot of damage that it does to your lungs. Vaping can cause your lungs to shut down or damage the bladder and heart.
In an article from The Telegraph by Sarah Knapton, she said, “almost 80,000 people a year die of a smoking-related illnesses, and smoking costs the NHS two billion dollars a year.”
Around 2.6 million people use e-cigarettes in the US. There have been studies that show that teens have been getting sick from the level of nicotine. It is very popular with the teens now to get E-juice with a high level of nicotine of 50mg/mL.
If you’re a long-term cigarette smoker and haven’t been able to cut back or stop smoking using approved cessation methods, e-cigarettes and other vaping devices products appear to be a safer alternative than continuing cigarette smoking, even if they do not help you reduce your nicotine intake. However, if you do not smoke or use other forms of tobacco or nicotine, steer clear of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. The potential risks to your long-term health outweigh any enjoyment in the moment.