How Vaping Affects Teens

Sierra Meissner, Reporter

In 2020, studies showed that one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students use vapes, and numbers have only increased. In 2003 the first e-cigarette was invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik. Since then vaporizers have become very popular because they are better than smoking cigarettes but give off the same feeling. Vapes are battery-operated devices that are used to inhale an aerosol. The small battery is used to heat up a liquid into aerosol that users inhale. Most contain nicotine extracted from tobacco, propylene glycol,flavorings and other addictive substances.

There are multiple reasons why teens buy and use vapes. In The National Youth Tobacco Survey, students named their top reasons for trying vapes, 55% was curiosity, 30% said their friends and family members use them, 21% wanted to learn tricks, and the last 22% wanted to try the flavors. 

Students can also be peer pressured into trying it. “It’s sad seeing how many of my friends and other students use vapes. I worry about their safety and their health,” said Hellgate student, Rowan Haywood. 

Vapes are also small,accessible, and somewhat affordable. Since they don’t have a strong smell it’s fairly easy to hide from adults.

 The majority of teenagers aren’t educated about how vaping can affect their body. In fact, vapes are so new to our generation that nobody knows all of the long term effects. We know that not only is nicotine addictive, but it can also harm brain development. This has a much greater impact on teens than adults because their brains aren’t fully developed. Inhaling ingredients found in vapes can also expose people to high levels of toxins which leads to lung diseases, irreversible lung damage as well as cardiovascular disease.

Overall, high school health classes have not been addressing the issue nearly enough. They can incorporate the effects known about vaping, that way teens are more aware of the risk they are taking and maybe prevent more teens from getting addicted. Teens will learn that once they get addicted to vaping it’s extremely hard to stop                                                      Teen vaping is bad. Nicotine makes it worse, says researcher | Science | AAAS