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Vaping and Teenagers

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In 2003, Chinese inventor Hon Lik created the electronic cigarette with a mission in mind, to quit smoking and improve his health. Over the years, his invention has grown into a global industry, with more than 460 brands worldwide with the purpose to help adults quit smoking. However, by 2023, it’s clear that e-cigarettes have spread and caused a major health crisis among high school students in the United States.

The vaping epidemic among high school students continues to spread among the nation, and it’s a growing concern for health authorities and educators. These electronic devices, initially designed to quit smoking, have now become an addiction (of nicotine) to high school students.

Recent interviews with students provide a straight look into this alarming trend. A female high school student, reveals, “I think about 40% of girls in this school vape at Liberty High School. I usually notice people vaping in the restrooms.” It’s clear that vaping has become a habit among the female student population.

A male high school student, expresses his observations, stating, “I believe about 60% of the boys in this school vape. I notice people vaping in restrooms and even in classes. In class, they discreetly put the e-cigarettes in their sleeves, inhale deeply, and exhale slowly, making it hard for the teacher to detect the smoke.” Vaping is not limited to specific places; it’s happening in the very classrooms where students are meant to focus on their studies.

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An anonymous student, who wished to remain nameless, explained how they started vaping among their peers. They admit, “It seems cool when I see my friends vaping. So I started so I can fit in. When I started the first time, I coughed, but after a couple of days of trying, I started getting some feelings like a buzz in my brain. That feeling makes me look for more vapes. Now, if I do not vape, I just feel different, like dizzy and have less energy.” The addictive nature of vaping and its perceived coolness factor are driving more students to pick up the habit, making it a significant challenge to quit.

As the vaping epidemic continues to spread among high school students, health authorities and educators are working tirelessly to find solutions and support for those affected. The issue is complex, involving not only addiction but also the social pressures and allure that draw young people into this dangerous habit. Tackling this critical issue requires a multi-pronged approach, involving education, awareness, and support systems to help students quit vaping and lead healthier lives.

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About the Contributor
  • Lives in East Harlem
  • Was born in 2005 in US, and spent  childhood in Togo
  • Loves playing soccer
  • Always looking for the best version of himself

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