Inso Park/Valencia HS 10th
E-cigarettes, vapes, were originally invented to help wean heavy smokers off
multiple packs of cigarettes a day. However, the issue is no longer about heavy cigarette smokers, the new burgeoning issue is the amount of underage vape users. Recently, it has been discovered that vape products are carcinogenic. Additionally, vaping has been proved to have a negative impact on the lungs.
Rather than decrease the amount of nicotine in products, vape companies simply changed the packaging. Recent studies have shown that one pod contains the equivalent amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Vape companies such as Juul and Puff Bars successfully market their products to teens. Naive teenagers are intrigued by the various flavors and become lulled into a false sense of security. Underage users are led to believe that vaping is not nearly as harmful as smoking cigarettes. Vape companies that market extravagant flavors make a significant amount of their profit off of teenagers consumers.
In 2019, the first death caused by vaping was reported. Since then, a startling number of teenagers have been rushed to hospitals for various health diseases related to vaping. Additionally, Juul was publicly sued for marketing their products to underage consumers and was also forced to recall contaminated Juul pods. Despite these occurrences, teenagers continue to vape and the impact that vaping has on their bodies is irreversible. According to Irene Kim, a junior at NUVHS, she believes that her friends vape to manage the stress of school and because they are peer pressured into thinking that it is “cool” or “trendy”. Not to mention the fact that teenagers have a myriad of ways to access vapes, making it almost too easy.
There are various ways to shine light on the particular issue of teenage vaping. One way to instate change would be banning companies from selling or marketing flavored products. These flavored products entice the majority of the teenage users and banning them would significantly decrease the amount of underage users. Although Juul, one vape company, is banned from selling flavored products, other companies such as Puff Bars are not. Raising awareness within adults may be another way to limit teenagers from using vapes. Often times, a vape may be mistaken for commonplace everyday items. Another way to prevent underage vaping would be to raise the age to buy these items. This would limit teenagers‘ access to these items and would reduce underage vaping rates. Reducing teen vaping is the first step towards a healthier nation.
<Inso Park/Valencia HS 10th