EDITORIAL: Know your risks: think before you vape

The new trend of vaping is spreading rapidly across the nation, particularly among adolescents, and has raised much concern about how dangerous and prevalent this activity truly is. Vaping in bathrooms and in class is currently a hot topic in the school community. Many teenagers are unaware of the true dangers that come with vaping and how disruptive it can be to their peers.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, vape products specifically target young people by promoting many exciting flavors of vape, including chocolate and fruity options, and design the devices to be inconspicuous, especially to older people who may be less aware of the craze. Many vaping devices, such as the Phix, are created to look like normal household objects, such as a flash drive. Some devices even emit less vapor into the air which makes it easier for users to rid the air of the vapor cloud quickly. The scent of vape is also rather unassuming, since it does not have a distinctive “drug” smell, like other drugs such as marijuana may create. Vape generally leaves a sweet, fruity or almost bakery-like aroma.

In addition, vaping has become extremely popular because of its seemingly less harmful effects compared to other drugs like marijuana and Adderall. That may be true, but safer doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Still, many teenagers are unaware of the true risks of vaping and possible health problems associated with the drug nicotine, which is in most vape products. A legitimate risk of vaping is addiction to nicotine, which teenagers often dismiss by claiming they are not addicted. Generally, it is widely believed that e-cigarettes and vapes are not as harmful or addicting as regular cigarettes. However, that is false. The U.S. Surgeon General website highlights that nicotine use can lead the adolescent brain into other drug addictions.

The school’s policies and recent focus on combating vaping is valid, though some students may disagree. It is important for students to understand how vaping can disrupt the school environment, cause severe health problems such as addiction and result in disciplinary actions for minors. No one can control what you do outside of school on your own time, but understand that the actions that you choose to do in the school environment will affect everybody, whether they participate in the activities or not.

Vaping affects the daily lives of students at this school and others across the country. The bottom line is that everyone who chooses to partake in this activity should become aware of the potential consequences of vaping and do it on their own time, not during school hours or on school grounds.

The unsigned editorial reflects the views of The Harbinger Editorial Board.