The Vaping Epidemic In High Schools

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The Vaping Epidemic In High Schools

Danielle Hechavarria, Staff Writer

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A truly silent killer is in our mists, and it’s called vaping. One of the toughest challenges for those fighting the problem of vaping in schools may be getting people to realize how big the problem is in the first place.

More than one in four high school students in the U.S. use e-cigarettes, as teen vaping rates surged to yet another record despite efforts to control the epidemic, according to new federal data. The fight against vapes has been ongoing since they were first manufactured in 2003. At first the controversy only surrounded whether or not it was an actual healthy alternative to smoking cigarettes.

On the basis of the findings, the e-cigarette is rated several orders of magnitude (100 to 1000 times) less dangerous than smoking tobacco cigarettes. The nicotine dose is comparable to that of a medicinal nicotine inhaler. Overall, the product tested was deemed a “safe alternative to smoking.” 

As we all hear on commercials and see on tv though most vaping users at some point end up trying a cigarette, and here’s a terrifying statistic: if cigarette smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That’s about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today. It’s truly terrifying what the world may have to face because of  smoking and not being informed. In a survey taken more than 1 of every 4 high school students reported in 2019 said that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days. This epidemic has breached our homes and our schools and it needs to end now. 

Peer pressure is a major factor in how many people get involved with smoking, but that can be prevented and even stopped. Knowledge is power and just knowing some of the illnesses that can be caused by vaping should stop people in their tracks. Be a voice for those who can’t tell their stories because they didn’t survive them and help people, teenagers, children know the dangers. This is a movement but it can’t succeed if we don’t truly move forward from vaping: if not for us, for the generations that follow in our footsteps.