Staff Editorial: Teenagers should be informed before vaping


Illustration by Yasmin Haq

With the rise of vaping, a major e-cigarette distributor has also risen: Juul. Worth over $15 billion, Juul has taken vaping to the next level, dispensing new flavors and different forms of the e-cigarette. An object meant to aid in transitioning to a new life has brought forth a societal misconception that vaping is the new and harmless “in” trend. Rather than allowing societal pressure influence decisions, teenagers should stay informed and weigh the risks before vaping.

According to BBC news, seven million people globally were vaping in 2011, and that number has gone up to 35 million in 2016. Teenagers are more susceptible to the device with the increase in number of users. Because of the higher usage, teenagers are able to buy Juuls in everyday settings, such as schools — because the sellers have easier access to these vape products. The ease of transactions is what allows even 15-year-olds to buy the product, making it dangerous.

Although marked “safer” than cigarettes, the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping have increased depending on the concentration and contents, such as nicotine, sold through Juul pods. During the adolescent stage, humans go through drastic developmental changes and the contents sold in the Juuls only put teens at a higher risk of reduced brain activity and a higher chance of addiction.

New experiences are good for breaking out of the comfort zone, but it should not hinder health. The various dangers of vaping include damaging lungs, inhaling metals and ultrafine particles, addiction etc. These health risks affect teenagers on a greater level than adults, meaning introducing activities such as vaping only hinders the body’s ability to function properly. These risks are often not considered because of social media’s impact in promoting the activity. Various social media accounts are seen promoting vaping to the teenage viewers by making it seem enjoyable and harm-free.

Just like smoking was a trend in the 1900s, vaping is taking its place in the 2010s. If the risks of vaping were shared more frequently, there would be a better chance for teenagers to not even try it in the first place. Because it is showing up as a fad, teenagers do not think of the long-term consequences, which needs to change. Rather than falling into the trap of propaganda, teenagers need to decipher good from bad.

Falling into trends, such as vaping, is what costs most teenagers their health — making them susceptible to even worse conditions later in life. The inflation of vape culture can only be stopped with a negative outlook on it, which can only come from a changed public opinion. So rather than glorifying a detrimental activity, teenagers should learn of the consequences first.