Vaping needs to stop

Samuel Ogali, Courier Staff

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People really need to stop vaping. In the first article I wrote about e-cigarettes, I suggested that specifically young people should reconsider their constant use of e-cigarettes/ vaping products. But after reports claiming at least six have died in relation to using the devices and instances of teens nearly losing their lives, it’s time to really stop using these products entirely.

E-cigarettes were first introduced into the market in the early 2010s as a way for traditional smokers to gradually stop their use of tobacco cigarettes. But unfortunately in recent years, that hasn’t been the case as younger people have become more reliant on vaping products. In 2018, 11 percent of high school seniors, 8 percent of 10th graders, and 3.5 percent of eighth graders were reported to be using vaping products, according to a survey by the University of Michigan. The most prevalent vaping product in the market are Juuls, which account for 72 percent of e-cigarettes in the market.

Most of the time, whenever you ask young people about the effects of vaping, they’re either clueless or simply don’t care; some people just assume because it’s not tobacco cigarettes that it’s better and perfectly fine, but that’s not true. Nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug, accounts for 5 percent of Juul products; this amount is equivalent to a pack of tobacco cigarettes. Diacetyl, which is found in popular flavors like mango & grape, can cause bronchiolitis obliterans, commonly known as “popcorn lung.”

A 16-year-old named Cooper Stevens reportedly used e-cigarettes 100 times every day; he was hospitalized & put on a ventilator nine days after his lungs began to shut down. Stevens was in so much respiratory distress that he nearly died as a result of his vaping addiction. “I just want to go forward from here and try to help people to not vape, like my friends,” says Stevens who has now stopped his e-cigarette usage.

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to ban non-flavored tobacco cigarettes like mint and crème brûlée within 30 days, and I, for one, am glad this is happening. I believe that companies like Juul have been purposely marketing to children with fruit and candy flavors and the fact that the market has lacked regulation has led to many teens being able to easily access such products. E-cigarettes and vaping started as an alternative for heavy tobacco smokers in order to restrain their dependency on smoking in general. But after rebranding, more young people have gotten hooked on vaping and now that the public is becoming much more aware of the drawbacks, I believe that it’s unfortunately too late.

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