BY: CLAIRE KIM
Nicotine addiction is real. So real that the “results of the most recent National Youth Tobacco Survey found that kids under 18 who had smoked an e-cigarette in the last 30 days had skyrocketed from 1.5 million in 2017 to 3.6 million in 2018. Over 3 million of these teens are in high school, while the remaining are in middle school”. (US Food and Drug Administration). This is really concerning.
At an age when teens should be developing both physically and mentally, this excessive addiction to such smoking techniques flaws the teenage growth process detrimentally. It seems as if the stigma of “smoking” has suddenly disappeared as great numbers of teenagers have confessed their usage of e-cigarettes for enjoyment regularly. What used to be seen as inappropriate, has now become a popular sensation that sparks curiosity in young teens for the wrong reasons. Even worse, vaping has earned its name of being a “stress reliever” and a “gangsta factor” which incorrectly advertises to teens that vaping is okay and has mutual benefits.
Vaping is NOT okay and should NOT be tolerated whatsoever. The process is both harmful and useless to the body’s functions, in fact damaging our body systems to the same extent as smoking. According to CNN news, it has been reported that “Nicotine changes the brain, interfering with developing brains of young people”. For the price of our health, is it really logical to use these devices to feel just a little better temporarily afterward?
Thus, as a response to such rising concerns regarding vaping patterns in US teens, efforts have been made to recover the situation through youth programs. For example, in Denver a hospital launched a preventative program called “My Life My Quit” in which trained coaches provided a one to one therapy session for recovery. They also created a hotline to provide indirect help when needed as well.
Vaping addictions needs to subside before teens reach adulthood. With unlimited access and reliance on such e-cigarettes, a more concerning problem arises later on when drug addictions and excessive smoking becomes prominent for the rest of one’s life. A study “found that youth who use e-cigarettes are about three times more likely to start smoking cigarettes” (CNN). To prevent these numbers from inflating, even more, the Vape Pen, the Joule, whatever e-cigarette product teens are using need to be put down before any risk grows too dangerous.