Vaping – we see it everywhere

Vaping – we see it everywhere. It’s not uncommon, and adults across the country can be spotted with a vaping device in hand. However, recently, many more people have taken part in this deadly habit. Teenagers throughout the United States have started vaping. Students post pictures and videos all over social media, bragging about how “cool” they look. Worried parents try to warn their children about the dangers of vaping, but it has not made a significant impact. Teenagers are now becoming hospitalized due to lung-related problems from this. While many young adults brush off the warnings they receive, thinking that vaping isn’t a big deal, teenagers everywhere are getting sick. It is becoming a serious problem.

People are not aware of the damage vaping can do to a person’s body. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Teen e-cigarette users are more likely to start smoking cigarettes within 6 months. Many teenagers think that they know what their vaping products contain, but manufacturers by law don’t have to report the ingredients in their e-cigarettes. Users may not know what is actually in them. 

I interviewed a student at Shaker to hear a teenager’s perspective about this, and I learned a new side to the story. This student has noticed behavioral changes in her friends. She has seen that they are going down a path she “never thought they’d go down”, and that they are hanging out with bad influences. This student has also seen how vaping has had an affect on today’s youth. She believes that it began as a social activity, but has now become a “disgusting thing” that kids have gotten hooked on, and it is turning into an addiction. It is assumed that most students involved with vaping are indulging in the habit, but as this student proved, that isn’t true. She was put in a situation where her friends thought that it would be okay to vape around her in her house without her parents knowing. This event led to many problems for this student, and she has lost friends because of it. After being stuck in that position, she thinks there is more that the Shaker school community can do to prevent vaping from becoming a worse problem. “Although it may not really stop anyone from doing it, we could host mandatory assemblies to help them become aware of the real problems it has caused. It may help them realize that this habit or new addiction of theirs is very detrimental to their health”.  Students who are not even using e-cigarettes are now being affected by this problem. 

Many students think they are immune to the physical effects of vaping. That is not the case. Teenagers around the country believed the same thing, but there have been real instances where teenagers have gotten sick and ended up in the hospital. The Center for Disease Control, also known as the CDC, has reported over 200 cases of severe respiratory disease, which was caused by vaping. One instance was with a young man named Tryston Zohfeld, who was kept alive by machines for 10 days after his previously healthy lungs were failing. 48 hours after he was admitted to the hospital, he was put in the ICU. He lost 30 pounds and had to learn to walk normally again after losing significant muscle mass in his legs. This proves that vaping can take a serious toll on your body, and completely change your life. Chance Ammirata, an 18 year old boy from Florida, has a hole in his right lung because of vaping. More recently, on September 20th, a young man Anthony Mayo was diagnosed with bronchitis, and he was then brought to the ICU. His left lung was 80% congested and his right lung was 50% congested, which resulted him not being able to breathe easily. Healthy young people are now becoming incredibly ill because of this harmful addiction, and it will only get worse.

More facts have come to light about the dangers of e-cigarettes and what they can do to a person. To find out more about this, I interviewed one of our school nurses. She informed me that vaping is worse for a person’s health than smoking a cigarette because the products could have fillers that could contain unknown chemicals. Many teenagers may not know this, and they may have just assumed that the only thing in their vape pods was flavoring. When I asked why vaping has become especially popular in the last year, she explained that the use of e-cigarettes began as a positive idea. It was to help people quit smoking, and the vape products monitor a person’s intake of nicotine. Now, it has spiraled out of control, and “kids have no idea how bad it is”. 

What can you do? It’s an important question to ask yourselves. If you are a student who is currently vaping, consider the consequences of continuing down this deadly road. High school can be hard enough, and health issues are not something you want to add to your list of problems. Don’t fall under peer pressure. Put yourself first, and don’t feel that you have to do what your friends are telling you. Talking to a trusted adult or parent is always a good idea. We as teenagers need to focus on taking care of each other and being the best versions of ourselves. And that starts with us. 

If vaping doesn’t end soon, it could kill hundreds of teenagers who have their whole lives ahead of them.