Teen Vaping Continues to Increase

Lilly Threlkeld, Staff Writer

  With the steady increase in high school vapers everywhere Combs High School  is no exception.

A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that one  out of every four high school students has used an e-cigarette causing the Food and Drug Administration to label the use as an epidemic.

As time goes on more and more students start engaging in vaping,  it’s bringing problems to the learning environment.

   “People are going to the bathroom stalls and vaping, they are becoming more focused on when the next time they are going to be able to get a buzz than they are focused in class,”  Junior Charles Lindsay said.

To date, threre have been 25 vaping related suspension on campus this year. Eleven of those students  chose to go into a five day on-campus diversion program instead of the longer off-campus suspension. 

As a result of the increase in underage vapin President Trump signed a bill that upped the age to purchase products containing nicotine from 18 to 21.

According to information published by the American Lung Association these laws will reduce youth access to tobacco products and help save lives.”

A majority of students who vape are putting chemicals into their bodies without considering the   possible harm and long term health risks.

“Teens view this as an innocent thing so they don’t see the potential health risks involved, like the high amount of nicotine that are in the juul pods,” CHS Principal Chris Farabee said.

   Nicotine isn’t the only thing that vapers need to be concerned about, there are many other dangerous chemicals that are hiding in vapes.    

“Scientists have also found that diacetyl, a chemical used to flavor some vape juice, may cause a condition called “popcorn lung,” the scarring and obstruction of the lungs’ smallest airways,” according to research conducted by the American Heart Association.

   CHS administrators do not take vaping lightly, a first offense is an off-campus suspension with days increasing for repeat offenders.  But it’s not just about punishment, there is an alternative “academic alternative” for those that elect to go that route.

  “The first offense is five days off campus, but this year we decided to institute a diversion program that [educates] students  about the long term consequences of vaping.” Farabee said. “But unfortunately there is no second option for the diversion program so the suspension just goes up more days once they become a repeated offender. “ 

   While there is no tobacco in vapes, there are other dangers to consider when choosing e-cigarettes or vape products.

   “Smoking harms nearly every organ organ in your body, including your heart. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of smoking and secondhand smoke,” Michael Joseph Blaha said in an article published by John Hopkins Medicine.