When cigarettes became a health issue, causing many cancer-related illnesses and deaths, people began to stop smoking or search for alternatives to smoking. These alternatives to smoking cigarettes include smoking marijuana and vaping. Vaping was initially marketed as a means to stop smoking. However, vaping became attractive to teens.
According to a Monitor the Future survey conducted and reported in USA Today, teens report a “dramatic increase” in their use of vaping devices. The report further states that “teens are clearly attracted to the marketable technology and flavorings seen in vapor devices, however, it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping.”
“If you vape, you are stupid,” junior Alex Keely said. “You are making ill choices for yourself and your health. Don’t be stupid.”
In response to the increased use of vaping in teens, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a flavor vape ban on Sept. 4. The ban would block vape and tobacco shops and online retailers from selling flavored e-cigarettes in the state without penalty of fines and possible jail time. A state judge last month temporarily blocked the ban while a lawsuit challenging it continues.
So why the fuss about vaping and adolescents? According to public health officials, vaping provides “a new path to nicotine addiction and could threaten decades of progress with anti-smoking and tobacco prevention campaigns.”
At Detroit School of the Arts, that message apparently is heard loud and clear.
“Vaping is not good for your lungs,” said junior Aurianna Tagger. “It causes more damage than cigarettes. Scientists did some research and they stated that vaping has 20 times more nicotine than a regular cigarette.”
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance known to constrict blood vessels and contribute to heart disease. In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette users inhale heavy metals, other compounds and carcinogens.
Furthermore, e-cigarettes and vaporizers introduce safety risks unrelated to inhalation as well. For example, vaping liquids are known to trigger adverse health effects when they are touched. According to the CDC, numerous children have required emergency medical attention after accidentally absorbing these liquids through their kin, and adult users are warned to exercise a high degree of caution when handling or disposing of products and attachments that contain them. In addition, health officials in several states and with the CDC reported a severe lung illness caused by vaping had sickened 450 people in 33 states. The New York Times recently reported a vaping related death.