In recent years, youth E-cigarettes (also known as vaping) use is rising. Last week I saw a newspaper article that said “after vaping related illness, teen now has the lungs of a 70 year old”. I was very shocked when I heard this mysterious news article. I thought one of the biggest problems is that many teens, including myself, don’t know how dangerous flavored e-cigarettes are. It is because of this that I chose to write about vaping and health risks.
What exactly is Vaping and what does it do? Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic device (e-cigarettes) or other vaping device. E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking device that have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains flavors, nicotine and other toxic chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. This is why using e-cigarettes is called “vaping.” Recently, flavored vaping has become popular among teens and young people because they can enjoy delicious taste like fruit, cotton candy, coffee, bubblegum, chocolate, and mint. These flavors seemed to be targeted to hook younger users. In addition, it is so easy to fit their hands around the various size, style, and shape, which can attract first time users.
There are many health risks related to E-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can cause long term harm to brain development as well as affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood. E-cigarettes also irritate the lungs and may cause serious lung damage, cancer, and even death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), E-cigarette usage by high school students increased 78% between 2017 to 2018, and middle school students increased 48% between 2017 to 2018. Also, the CDC said the number of recorded lung illnesses related to vaping has now reached 805 and 12 deaths have been confirmed.
Because of the rising use of E- cigarettes among students, there was parent education workshop on vaping at Burbank High School on August 22nd, 2019 and at John Burroughs High School on September 26th, 2019 in Burbank. The presentation, which ran for about an hour, was promoting clean air and healthy lungs. They were explaining the growing vaping trend, explaining that 4.9% million middle school students and 20.8% million high school students are current users of some type of tobacco product, and more than 3.6% million middle and high school students are currently use e-cigarettes. That means current smokers are 1 in 14 middle school students and 1 in 4 high school students. Two of the districts police officers demonstrated several types of E-cigarettes, including some which looked like iPods, flash drives, pens and chargers. They explained, “Most Teachers don’t know how it looks and they think it’s actually school supplies and school product.” Burbank City Attorney, Amy Albano said, “The city of Burbank will soon ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products.
The best way to stop vaping is this; first, make a plan to stop vaping. Ask teenagers to think about why they want to stop and set a quit date. Second, encourage students to share his or her concerns, like how dangerous vaping is and the negative effects. Third, avoid vaping people, places, and activities that are linked with vaping. Fourth, consider nicotine replacement products such as nicotine gum, patches, inhalers or nasal sprays, as they can be helpful in some cases. The last, congratulate teenagers on the progress they have made and encourage them not to give up. Also, celebrating their success and rewards can help teens stay motivation to stop vaping for good. Stopping teen’s from vaping is a best way to have a good life and health.
Jaiden Jung, 6th Grade
John Muir Middle School