Fear of the Unknown

Vaping has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and some of the statistics are surprising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days. This is a pressing issue for our generation, and as a publication, we have a responsibility to tell students the full truth about things that affect us, including the unpleasant aspects.

E-cigarettes have been labelled as our generation’s cigarettes. Back when our parents were young, smoking was common, but they didn’t know the effects. Smoking was commonplace for teenagers, so much so that our own school once had a patio where students were allowed to smoke. However, the tide turned in the 1990s, when regulations were put in place to limit where and when people could smoke. More than 300 years after smoking was brought to and gained popularity in Europe, people finally realized the risks and began to act upon them. Vaping has only been around for 14 years and popular for 11. If the trend continues, it will be some time before we know the real effects of e-cigarette use.

There have been no long-term studies on the effects of vaping regularly, but a short-term study conducted by the University of California at San Diego concluded that cells that are exposed to vapor liquid, including that without nicotine, are five to ten times more likely to wither and die than unexposed cells. Furthermore, toxicologists at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom have discovered carcinogenic toxins in vapor liquids. That’s just what’s been discovered in the last two years. Who knows what’s to come?

Students should abstain from vaping. When someone picks up a pen or a juul, they are risking so much, and there is so much that is still unknown. Who knows what hasn’t been discovered? As a staff, we hope that this issue opens a conversation about vaping and its effects so students can make informed decisions and realize there are dangers involved with vaping, even without nicotine.