Teen vaping on the rise in the U.S.


Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/44614233182/

Written by Haley Wyatt, Features Writer

As Lockport Township High School begins to crack down on student vaping at both campuses, it is important to look at the numbers associated with teen vaping in the United States. Some teens today feel that vaping is not as dangerous as smoking and poses virtually none of the same risks. However, when looking at the facts surrounding vaping and the influence it holds in teen culture, it is evident that many of the very frightening risks seen in smoking tobacco thrive within the vaping culture as well.

The vape company JUUL was under fire earlier this year after being exposed for purposefully marketing to teens. With fruity flavors masking the danger of nicotine addiction, JUUL advertised to underage users with great success. According to the Child Mind Institute, over 2.1 million adolescents in middle school and high school were vape users in 2017 and the numbers are rising each year. Electronic cigarettes, like the JUUL, were created with the intention to aid smokers to stop smoking. The trend of vaping, however, has created an epidemic across the country as teens become more addicted to the dangerous chemicals used to create them.

The threat of addiction is even more dangerous in teen users than adults. According to the JUUL company’s website, the nicotine content of one JUUL pod is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. This can lead to teens becoming exponentially addicted to the chemical without initially being aware of it. Because teen brains are still developing, the brain is more susceptible to addiction. Similarly, nicotine in teenagers has been proven to affect concentration, leading to a decrease in average performance in school and extracurricular activities. According to Child Mind Institute, vaping has also been linked in some studies to increased blood pressure, teen depression, lowered heart rate, and carcinogens.

Overall, teens involved with vaping are faced with the risk of a decreased performance in school and lifelong costs: financial burdens, health risks, and addictions that take years to recover from. At the end of the day, what seems like a small, easy to beat habit could really change the future, or lead to the destruction of it.

LTHS hosted an informational meeting to parents and students on February 6th in the East Campus auditorium. The meeting covered everything from health risks to prevention, hosted by Rosecrance Health Network’s Coordinator Jennifer Hahs. LTHS also covered the topic of vaping on February 15th during PE, health, and drivers education classes.

[Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/44614233182]