Vaping? The real cost


Jamie Sanchez

Discounts on vape products rise as teens are being hospitalized.

By Jazmin Chavira, Middle College High School

Watermelon, Strawberry Milk, Mango, Churro, Red Bull, Girl Scout Cookies, Key lime Pie, Sherbert.

Fun flavors and no strings attached. It seems like a fun time, right? Wrong. The use of electronic cigarettes is skyrocketing among high schoolers and even landing some in the hospital.

Manuel Carrillo gives us insight on his experience with vaping.

“I started smoking around the age of 12 because of peer pressure and others doing it around me and I wanted to fit on. By the age of 13 or 14, I realized I was addicted to nicotine and it was a habit or an addiction that was hard to stop,” he said.

According to data from the California Healthy Kids Survey, the vast majority of Orange County students are not vaping. But national rates are increasing — and fast. A lot of teens who start to vape do it for the wrong reasons.

Recently the Center of Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the link between lung injuries and e-cigarettes and certain vaping products which has caused about 24 deaths around the United States alone. Additionally, over 2,172 cases of lung injury have been reported due to e-cigarettes. 

“I’m always out of breath. It really affects your lungs really bad and I don’t want to die young so I quit,” Carrillo said. 

“Teenagers and young adults make up almost half of the people hospitalized with breathing problems from vaping in California,” says the California Department of public health.

 Still, some people believe that vaping causes no harm. 

”I know some of the consequences, but yet a lot of those consequences have been debunked as like myths, but yeah I know the risk that you’re taking, but I feel like the reward is like much higher than the risk,” said an anonymous MCHS student. 

“I do, but as a smoker and someone that does vape, I guess I don’t want to see it. I’m kind of in denial even though I know it is not good,” said a current vaper Joceline Carrillo,who is the wife of Manuel Carrillo.

Vape pens and other devices can be so easily concealed which is a serious problem for schools. Vaping is almost always done in school bathrooms where it is easy to hide.

“At least seven out of ten people smoke at my school. A lot of the time in the restroom,” said Foothill High School sophomore, Johnathan Iniguez. 

Although electronic cigarettes have been available since out 2003, it is not until recently that  it has become a mainstream trend among teens and young adults. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 66% of teens say they do it because of the unique flavors of the vape liquid. 

“I think it has with younger kids. With me, not really; it helped me more to stop smoking. But I get why it is so popular with teens because of all of the flavors, especially with the liquids like jolly ranchers and those kinds of sweet flavors,” said Mrs. Carrillo. 

Around 56.3% of high schoolers have been exposed to vaping by media and advertisements which eventually leads to them wanting to try it.  “It’s all over social media, advertisements, it’s everywhere so pretty much the younger generations are influenced by the media,” said Mr. Carrillo.

“Don’t vape. It’s not worth it. Think of your future,” said Mr. Carrillo.

This story was originally published on The Spellbinder on December 13, 2019.