Used by Creative Commons licence. Photo from https://pixabay.com/photos/e-cigarette-vaping-1301664/
Thanks to vaping, I am one of the millions of American teens currently struggling with nicotine addiction.
I first tried a Juul when it became popular during my eighth-grade year. The buzz felt good so I would hit my friends’ when I was with them. Flavors like mint, blueberry, mango, and strawberry attracted me to do it more often.
I didn’t think it would go this far and follow me into my sophomore year, but this summer I started doing it more heavily when I bought a vape of my own.
I’m sad to say that since then I’ve wasted most of my money on vape products, but it’s not the money that is most concerning to me.
I can already feel the difference in my lungs when I run. I am trying to quit because I am worried about my health.
Quitting has been a wild experience. One day I feel good about not doing it and the next minute I’m craving it.
The mental part of quitting is easy, I know that this is not something that I want to waste my money and risk my health over any more.
On the other hand, the physical part of quitting is rough. I can go all day without it but eventually I will get a headache and start shaking because my body has become dependent on it.
Most teens and young adults first began using these products with no previous exposure to nicotine. Teen smoking rates had been falling for years before the advent of Juul and other vaping products. But with their high nicotine content and kid-friendly flavors, a new generation of young people are again dooming themselves to a lifetime of addiction because of vaping.
“I honestly think the reason why vapes are so dangerous is because we don’t know the long term effects. They just might be as bad, or worse, than cigarettes,” said Tyrone health and physical education teacher Tom Coleman.
Vapes were allegedly invented to help adult smokers quit cigarettes. However, researchers at Stanford University looked at thousands of social media posts, emails, and other mostly online advertisements, and came to the conclusion that Juul’s marketing “was patently youth-oriented.”
At least partially as a result of this marketing, the young people have become some of Juul’s best customers.
The legal age to buy both tobacco and e-cigarettes in Pennsylvania is currently 18. It soon could be 21, but online stores often don’t ask for proof of age so anyone under the age of 18 can easily buy vape products online.
If you haven’t had a nicotine addiction in the past, don’t waste your money on a Juul or any other vaping products. Getting into an addiction just because everyone else is doing it is simply not good for your mental or physical health.
This story was originally published on Tyrone Eagle Eye News on October 23, 2019.