Inhale This

A member of the Lantern staff reflects upon the vaping problem among young people.


Aizlynn Thim

Vaping can have life long effects on a person’s lungs.

In the year 2000, about 20% of teens smoked. In 2017 that number dropped to around 5%. Now, two years later, the CDC states that, as of September 12th, 2019, 27.5% of teens have (or currently) used e-cigarettes. The vaping problem has turned into an epidemic. So, how can America go back to having less than 5% of teens smoke?  First, they should know the facts. 

For example, the CDC says that as of October 17, there have been 1,479 reported cases of lung injury caused by using e-cigarettes. If that doesn’t scare teens that are using, this should: a similar report that came out on August 23rd (also from the CDC) of this year reported that 193 people suffered from vaping related injuries. That means that over the course of 54 days, there was an escalation of (approximately) 766% in lung injuries due to the effects of electronic nicotine products. When it comes to deaths, there have been 32 since the same date. Adding on to the single previous fatality we have a grand total of 33 deaths. If that seems small, just remember that it only took 54 days for that to happen.

Yeah, the saddest part is that they know what they are doing is wrong, but they are too ashamed to ask for help”

— Annoymous High Schooler

Despite numerous anti-vaping campaigns in 2018, students just don’t seem to care. Lawmakers are attempting to remove flavored vape pods from the market. This may prevent some teens from starting. However, young people who are addicted will continue looking for another hit. When it comes down to demographics, 70% of those with lung injuries are male, with 15% of both male and female users are under 18. Vapes that include THC cause the most injuries. Many suspect this is due to the non-reliable “dealers” students under 18 get their Juul pods from. When asking an anonymous source if they knew anybody who vaped they shared, “Yeah, the saddest part is that they know what they are doing is wrong, but they are too ashamed to ask for help.”

Although most people recognize that vaping is an issue, they haven’t stopped the unhealthy habit. Another anonymous source (when asked about their vaping addiction) said: “I knew it wasn’t good for me, but my friends said that it was cool to do.” There isn’t much to do other than inform teens and young adults about the dangers of vaping. With a third of teens using e-cigarettes, the amount of injuries is just going to go up. If kids don’t listen to the statistics, no one can be sure that 30% will ever come back down.