Vaping has reached teens at an alarming rate


Credit: FDA

FDA data shows that over 2 million teens use e- cigarettes in the U.S. Graph made September 2021 by Food and Drug Administration.

Yamiah Harris, Staff Writer

In Michigan, vaping has been on the rise, especially among teenagers. Teens everywhere are vaping without knowing the serious effects it can have on their health.

It affects your behavior and performance, as well as your mental and psychical health. It’s also illegal for teens under 18. 

According to Michigan E- Cigarette laws, Senate bill No. 106 “Youth Tobacco Act,” “Sale of vapor products to persons under age 18 years prohibited. Persons under age 18 years prohibited from purchasing/possessing vapor products or using vapor products in a public place.”

Despite these laws being in place, teens everywhere still find ways to get vapes, and they’ve infiltrated the schools.

¨In Michigan, our high school tobacco use rate is an alarming 23%…¨ said American Lung Association Director of Advocacy, Ken Fletcher in New Lung Association Report article from American Lung Association.

How does vaping affect someone’s behavior and performance?

“The vaping can affect their performance just like tobacco use,” said Richard Labadie, an advanced health teacher at Loy Norrix. “It can keep them distracted, it can bring up the activity level, so when there is a little distraction they get really off task, make them more irritated, more on edge, more stressed out.” 

Vaping is very dangerous and can cause a series of health problems… 

The side effects of vaping are:

  • Coughing
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mouth and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hot flashes
  • Shakiness

Extreme side effects are:

  • Severe lung injuries
  • Seizures
  • Nicotine addiction
  • Nicotine poisoning
  • Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Brain aneurysms 

Most teens vape because of peer pressure, or out of curiosity.

¨They see other people doing it, so they try to fit in with the crowd,¨ said Unique Payton, a junior.

¨I don’t know if I think teens use it more as a stress reliever or depression, as much as I think it’s new. It’s a technological thing, where they think it’s cool to use the tech,¨ Labadie said. “I think that some use it just because of the challenge of trying to get away with it… The lure is the challenge to get away with it.¨

There are ways to quit, here are some recommendations.

“The best way to stop is to find an alternative to replace it with, but something that is a healthy alternative,” Labadie said.  “A lot of times people who are trying to quit using tobacco, smoking, or the vaping, they’ll go to something like exercise, or they’ll  find a hobby that they really enjoy and they have that replace it. So every time they wanna use the tobacco or the vaping they’ll go do that, use a support system.”

Get a smoke-free support system and try to keep a busy schedule, also try keeping candy or gum in your mouth.

If you are struggling with quitting, look to other people who might be going through the same thing. Support them and have them support you on your journey to quitting.

“There’s power in numbers,” Labadie said.