Vaping Continues to be a Problem

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Vaping Continues to be a Problem

Addy Booher

Addy Booher

Addy Booher

Lily Glidden

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Creme brulee. Butter. Cherry limeade. Sounds like a delicious brunch. But that’s not what it is. Those are some of the more popular vape flavors.

In 2011, seven million people vaped, and by 2018, the numbers reached a whopping 41 million. Market research group Euromonitor estimates the number of people who vape will reach 55 million by 2021. And not all the growth in the vaping market is from adults. Kids as young as 10 report vaping. 

“I was 12 when I started vaping,” said one East eighth grader who chose to be anonymous. “I quit about a month ago.”

More than 10 percent of eighth graders reported vaping last year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Almost 40 percent of twelfth graders say they have vaped. It’s true that most kids today don’t vape, but the numbers are still pretty high.

 Michigan is the first state to ban fruity flavors, saying it encourages the use of the product among young people.

One EMS seventh grader has asthma, yet still vapes, and said that banning fruity flavors is “stupid.”  The medical effects of vaping are still being researched, but studies have shown it increases the symptoms of asthma.

Evidence suggests that banning fruit flavors will help prevent teens from vaping. In a 2016 National Youth Tobacco study, 31 percent of teens cited the flavors as their reason for vaping. Other reasons cited were because a friend or family member vaped and the idea that vaping was healthier than smoking. 

One JUUL pod contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes. Many other vape juices contain high amounts of nicotine, which, in addition to being addictive, can slow brain development, affect memory, attention, mood, and learning, according to Kidshealth.com.

When asked if he chose to vape a product containing nicotine, one seventh grade EMS student had a one-word response. “Obviously.” 

One East eighth grader regrets vaping. “ It’s bad for my lungs, “ he said.

There is also evidence that vaping will actually be a gateway to actual cigarette use. A study conducted by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles found that students who vaped were more likely to begin smoking cigarettes than those who didn’t.

 Recently, a number of deaths linked to vaping have been reported, but the reasons vaping caused the fatalities is still being investigated.

Andrew Tursman MD, of Grand Traverse Children’s Clinic, is worried about the rise of vaping. It can lead to nicotine addiction and pneumonia, which is an inflammation in the lungs. He sees the YouTube videos of kids vaping and blowing smoke rings as a serious problem.

“It’s just inviting kids in,” he said.

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