Vaping: Helping or Hurting our Society

Mike Sullivan, Author

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Considering it is 2018, most likely you know what vaping is by now. This new trend is sweeping America. Like many other schools across the country, the staff at Oakmont is trying to stop kids from making bad decisions. Many students don’t consider of the cons of vaping, and only think of the pros.

According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 16.6 percent of 12th grade students vape; that number seems really low. When compared to cigarettes and other harmful substances, vaping is much less destructive to your health – as smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Research shows that vapes have a few of the same chemicals as cigarettes, but far less.

Vaping – also known as E-cigarettes – has recently become a debate. A significant number of people try to shake the habit of smoking by turning to vaping. That is not always the case though, and there are some people that use it for other reasons.

Although vaping may seem a good alternative to help cigarette smokers,  it also is now addicting a new generation of kids to nicotine, and most of the kids addicted believe it cannot harm them.

Some people would say that this is a good thing and some would say that it is a bad thing. E-cigs may be less destructive than cigarettes, but can also be bad for your health in many ways. Officer Boucher, an Student Resources Officer at Oakmont said, “It was originally marketed as a safer– not safe, but safer– alternative to smoking cigarettes.”

According to Business Insider, people who vape each day have double the risk of a heart attack – while anyone who smokes cigarettes every day has triple the risk of a heart attack. The fact of the matter is that some of the chemicals found in cigarettes can be found in vapes, although not nearly as many. Some of these chemicals can be dangerous to your health, but not enough research has been done.

Mrs. Lofquist – the nurse at Oakmont – when speaking of the chemicals in Juuls

said,  “One ingredient is called diacetyl, and it creates a buttery flavor like for buttered popcorn.” She also said, “It obliterates the tiny little air sacs found in your lungs, and they found out it came from diacetyl, which is the same chemical found in vaping.”

That being said, vaping is almost certainly better for you than cigarettes. Mrs. Lofquist agreed with that statement, but she also believes that vaping is extremely unsafe. It is also significantly cheaper than smoking cigs – on average about 80% cheaper. The biggest factor for the price of e-cigs is the juice that is used. The cost of vaping is somewhere between $407 and $2,269 per year, while smoking cigarettes can range anywhere from $1,818 to $4,926.

Something that concerns the staff at Oakmont is that Juul (Which is a vape company) is taking advantage of students and children. While they are helping people off of cigarettes, they are also addicting kids to nicotine; this isn’t by accident. They are specifically targeting students and kids in their teens. The e-cig company Juul is being investigated right now by an attorney general in Massachusetts for targeting minors.

Oakmont Principal, Mr. Uminski, had some words to say on the issue; “Originally, I think the development of the vapes was to make a safe way for people addicted to nicotine—an alternative to smoking. But, what it’s evolved into has been another way to get young people hooked on nicotine.”

“The technology now is absolutely driven to hook people on nicotine,” said Officer Boucher. Amazingly, Juul has the same amount of nicotine in only one of their cartridges as in an entire pack of cigarettes. It’s true in the fact that they are trying to get kids hooked on nicotine. Some of the E-cig companies and tobacco companies are run by the same people, and they don’t care who is buying their products; they just want sales.

A lot of people nowadays are using vapes to help their social image; some marketing has been gearing towards people like that. Statistically, less and less people are using vapes to quit cigarettes and more for recreational purposes.

Juuls are not harmful to the environment. They are especially cheap and convenient to use. There is a lot of incentive for anyone to go out a vape regardless of any of the cons.

So why do students and children vape? In an anonymous survey completed by several Oakmont students, some students said that vaping helps them relax, fit in with society.

One of the students said a lot of kids vape for the wicked head rush (that users get from the nicotine). There are also some kids who started vaping to be cool, some stating they ended up just getting addicted to nicotine.

In the end, vaping is a personal choice. Vapes have not been researched enough and there may be some more hidden dangerous effects that we don’t know about yet. Most think that they are much healthier for you than cigarettes, and that you won’t die after vaping once. That being said, there are positive and negative effects of vaping. Some negative effects include: health issues and addiction, whereas some positive effects include: getting off cigarettes, and less of an effect on the environment from other drugs or tobacco. Whatever happens, it is imperative that people think before they act.