Trendy new vaping devices like Juuls are luring teenagers away from smoked cigarettes but getting and keeping them hooked on nicotine. Ever since Juuls hit the market in 2015, their sales have skyrocketed and the company now has a net worth of $12.8 billion, and a large proportion are people under 18.
But what a lot of students don’t know is that vaping is extremely addictive, illegal for minors and downright dangerous to your health.
A Juul is a trendy vape that looks similar to a flash drive and can be charged in a laptop’s USB port. They can be easily hidden and used in a classroom or bathroom. Teachers and school administrators at Centennial are finding students Juuling when their backs are turned, because students can take a hit, blow the small, puff of smoke into their jacket and then continue doing their work like nothing even happened.
Another problem about Juuling is that they are taking over the school bathrooms. Staff at Centennial have been trying to halt the practice. Principal Anthony Newbold emailed all parents about the issue, and in the email he stated, “Parents, our school district is really beginning to crack down on vaping. We are seeing an increase at CHS and across the district at high schools and middle schools alike.”
Juuls are supposed to be an alternative to smoking cigarettes, but studies are showing that they are just as harmful. The main difference between a cigarette and vape is that the vape doesn’t contain any tobacco. But it is not just the tobacco in cigarettes that causes cancer. In addition to the addictive elements in tobacco, cigarettes also contain a long list of chemicals that are shown to be harmful – and vapes have the same chemicals.
A common negative effect is popcorn lungs (bronchiolitis obliterans): a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways. While the name “popcorn lung” it may not sound like a threat, it’s a serious lung disease that cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Jama Cochrane is one of Centennial’s healthcare teachers. She teaches about the danger of E-cigarettes to her students. “The only ONE time you have to say no to vaping is the FIRST time,” said Cochrane.
Freshman Kennedy Atkinson has met with Dr. Newbold about an anti-vaping initiative on campus, and they have already done projects to spread awareness about the issue. Atkinson said that vaping is the number one reason why students are getting suspended at Centennial. Atkinson made an anti-vaping poster last semester that was displayed in the hallways. Her purpose? “I made the poster to inform people about what the effects on vaping, some of them include lung cancer, mouth cancer and acne,” Atkinson said.