Watermelon, Strawberry, Blue Raspberry Pop and Tobacco Dream. Most students are just now coming to the realization that, “hitting it” is killing them. The death toll has risen to 39 people and hundreds of others are facing life threatening illnesses according to the CDC. Incidents like this are happening all over the country, but students are still not willing to put the vape down and actually take their health seriously.
Data from the CDC states that as of November 5, there has been 2,051 cases of vaping-associated lung injury reported in the United States. Many of the cases involve youth and young adults.
“I’ve been vaping since the seventh grade, and I’ve noticed breathing problems from it, but I’m so addicted,” an anonymous senior said. “It’s sad. I can’t stop and I’m scared that I’ll just stop breathing, but I can’t stop vaping. I’ve tried and it feels like it is impossible to do.”
This data has caused juul to suspend online sales and several states have enacted vaping bans. Doctors say that patients may recover enough to be able to go home after days or weeks spent in the hospital, but others are facing a worse fate. It’s too soon to tell is there are long term effects that come with vaping including permanent damage to the lungs.
“Everyday is a battle against temptation, and the peer pressure makes it difficult,” sophomore Colton Marburger said. “We as a student body need to overcome this so that our generation will stay healthy.”
Every class period students feel the need to hit it or to get their afternoon buzz. For some, to stop vaping would be like climbing Everest.
“Being pressed to vape is everywhere,” Marburger said. “They say ‘just hit it man,’ but you have to stay strong and realize that’ll inevitably mess you up pretty bad. Attempting to stop is proof of how bad vaping is for you. Nicotine withdrawls will make you feel nauseous and sick.”
School administrators have put up posters near the restrooms and in the classroom explaining the dangers of vaping and the illegal info about dab pens. There was also an academy presentation to tell students about all the dangers that come with vaping.
“The presentation was well done and had some good facts, but it wasn’t powerful enough to change anyone’s mind,” senior Ali McNew said. “I wish it would, but the students don’t understand. They are not going to take it seriously.”
Trying to stop and actually stopping are two different things. It’s a long, hard road to quitting, but in the long run it’s better than having to face a fatal disease.
“I vape because it gives me a sense of relief,” an anonymous sophomore said. “I am trying to stop because I know it’s bad for me, I don’t want it to lead me down the wrong path in life, and it’s been killing kids lately.”
Even with the facts presented by news, governmental agencies and the school, some students are in denial about the dangers that exist in regards to vaping and e-cigarettes.
“I think that certain side effects are real if you do it often,” the sophomore said. “But, if you don’t do it very often then I don’t think anything really bad will happen.”
This story was originally published on The Voice of the Wildkats on November 10, 2019.