Feature Photo By: Caroline Smith – Daniel Smith takes a hit from his vape. He says, “Breathing anything into your lungs other than air shouldn’t be considered safe, however vaping is the far safer alternative to conventional smoking.”
By: Caroline Smith, Review Staff
Approximately 20.8 million people in the world vape, and 3.6 million of those people are teenagers. Whether you’re a student, parent, or teacher, you’ve probably noticed people vaping around you.
For those who don’t know, vaping is the act of inhaling vapor that is produced by an electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette). There are many different kinds of e-cigs such as Juuls, vape pens, mods, and so forth.
Vape pens and mods are battery powered. When the button is pressed, the coils heat the e-juice which turns into vapor. You can buy whatever brand and flavor of juice that you want. Additionally, one can buy juice with or without nicotine.
According to CNN, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) wants to create new rules about vaping and increase the age restriction. As of September 15th of 2018, the regulations were updated for each state by the Public Health Law Center.
Like most states, in Colorado, you have to be at least 18 to purchase anything related to vaping. You’re required to be 21 in only a few states like California, Hawaii, Maine, and more.
Between 2017 and 2018, e-cigs usage has gone up 78% and continues to grow throughout as the years pass. Since the beginning of 2018, more than 1.5 million people have started vaping, thus making the tobacco usage highly increase.
These numbers are just students — middle and high schoolers. The FDA and parents of vapers are growing worrisome, as many believe that these kids will become addicted to nicotine.
Allyson Turner is the parent of Angela Turner, a 10th grader at Rangeview, who has strong opinions about vaping.
“I do approve of vaping as an alternative, if smoking cigarettes was already an issue,” Ms. Turner comments. “I would not contribute money or any assistance to my kids vaping however, if it happened it’s cheaper and smells better than cigarettes.”
An article posted by Partnership for Drug-Free kids is targeted towards parents and informs them about what vaping is, possible risks, and how vaping shouldn’t be an alternative from smoking cigarettes. This article also gives suggestions to parents and what they can do to prevent their kids from vaping.
Though some vape juices don’t have nicotine in it, many do, which can be seriously addicting. Nicotine can be found within all tobacco products. When nicotine is used, it causes dopamine to be released into the parts of your brain like motivation and pleasure areas.
This effect happens when using other drugs like heroin or cocaine. For this reason, many people have reported using nicotine because it gives people the happy feeling in their brain.
One reason this product is so addictive because once the user has gotten used to their intake of nicotine, they raise their dosage. Too much intake can cause poisoning that creates many symptoms such as vomiting, headaches/dizziness, nausea, confusion, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
Having a withdrawal can cause many physical and mental symptoms. Nicotine has also been linked to causing damaging the cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory systems.
Junior Adam Zourigi said he has been vaping for one and half years and, “started for fun and to ‘hop on the wave…. I told myself when I started that I wouldn’t go to a high level of nicotine and I kept that promise.”
Zain Terazi is an 11th grader from Smoky Hill High School. He has a different point of view on vaping.
“I really only like doing it because the flavor and the buzz you get. I do realize the negative effects of it, but I honestly don’t really mind,” said Terazi.
Terazi vapes for the flavor and the buzz, while Zourigi vapes for fun and to ‘hop on the wave’ which leads back to Ms. Turner and her point of view.
“Vaping is the popular, trendy thing to do right now. A fad almost,” Turner said. “It offers a hobby and a common interest [sic.] amongst teens who usually wouldn’t be socializing. It’s better than teens being all about drugs and sex.”
Here are some pros and cons to kids vaping:
- Vaping has fewer risks than smoking cigarettes
- Safer alternative for long-term cigarette smokers
- No noxious odors
- Can control nicotine intake (Use more or less)
- All of the effects of nicotine that was talked about above
- Vaping doesn’t officially reduce cigarette smoking
- Some juices can unintentionally lead to poisoning, especially in younger people
- Inhaling chemicals, lead, and heavy metals into lungs
To add another con, many say the cost of vaping products can be expensive. A typical vape can range from $25-$35 and the typical price for a 15ml bottle of e-juice is $12. There are different types of vapes and different sizes of juices, as well as different brands, so it varies. Regardless, constantly buying juice can build up a lot of money overtime.
“Vaping seems cool and all, but honestly it’s risky,” Zourigi states. “Clouds are temporary and replaceable, your lungs and throat on the other hand are the complete opposite. Take care of your body.”
The risks of nicotine are clear, but risks of how else it clearly affects a person is unknown. There hasn’t been enough research conducted to clearly identify every single risk.