Vaping Epedemic

Tia Cormier, Author, Layout

Everyone has heard about how vaping is a negative habit to be avoided at all costs. Whether you’ve heard about it through school, seen ads on TV, seen it on social media platforms or even on billboards, the awareness is practically posted everywhere possible. However, the vaping epidemic took a serious turn when a middle aged adult died in mid-July, according to the Washington Post. 

The Oregon man died due to a severe lung disease caused by a THC cartridge, which has now been responsible for five deaths, and hundreds falling ill. Many students obtain these cartridges illegally, making them even more dangerous. Leading to the question: Do you even know what you are vaping? 

Lindsey LaFrance, a Junior at Oakmont, said, “You don’t even know what you’re vaping, they could be laced with all sorts of things. I honestly believe the only reason kids do it is the convenience of them. A few people I know have passed out from using them.”

Many of these cartridges are filled with different chemicals that they don’t mention on their labels. They contain different ultrafine particulates and heavy cancer causing metals.  

According to BuzzFeed News, the FDA analyzed these cartridges that caused those to become ill, and they found a chemical from Vitamin E, which is similar to canola oil, in nearly all samples from those patients. However, most kids obtain these cartridges from an illegal source where there are no regulations on the chemicals in them, making them even more dangerous. The flavoring and buttery taste you get when using these cartridges is linked to many cases of respiratory illness.   

 Ms. Smeltekop, the Vice Principal at Oakmont, said she believed that, “because of knowledge and exposure shown about vaping that the problems with vaping in school has been less than last year.” She sees our generation as a whole to hopefully be the generation that stops vaping after the recent news of those falling ill and the few that lost their lives. 

Even though our generation may be heading in the right direction, the problem is still current and real. An anonymous Senior at Oakmont said that she’s even seen peer pressure happen at school. 

 Kids are faced with peer pressure usually when they’re out on the weekends, but peer pressure with vaping is a real issue in school. Behind closed stall doors, you may not realize what’s happening. According to the Washington Post, almost half of the twelfth grade class vapes or has tried vaping. “When the underclassmen see the upperclassmen vaping they’re more likely going to want to try it,” said Smeltekop. 

With major peer pressure happening in the school bathrooms that goes unspoken and with the new raise in health risks, vaping still remains a serious issue. With the FDA still trying to solve why people are coming down with such serious lung diseases, the serious effects and causes still remain under investigation. All they know is that they come with huge consequences and cannot be ignored. Put your health first and say no to vaping.