The Dangers of Teen Vaping

Joe Carfano, Staff Writer

Vaping is a problem in schools all over the country and is still extremely popular with teens today. This is especially problematic because the teenage brain is not fully developed and is extremely susceptible to not only the addictive properties of nicotine but also its negative effects on mental health. Vaping can lead to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety as well as reduced impulse control and ADHD-like symptoms. 

 A survey study of 8660 10th and 12th-grade students, showed increases in teenage vaping from 2017 to 2019 but a reduced number in 2020.  Notable declines in the use of the JUUL brand were also noted, however, they were countered by significant increases in the use of other vaping brands (Findings are from the annual Monitoring the Future survey). 

Clearly, just because the use of Juul’s has gone down does not mean that the amount of teens vaping has decreased. It simply means that more teens are using off-brand or disposable vapes that are not regulated and in some cases smuggled in like drugs.  Teens are able to purchase illegal vapes from both individuals as well as “back rooms” of stores, such as smoke shops and gas stations. This means that it is even harder to get reliable information about teenage vaping due to its now underground-like presence. 

Credit: Vapeys.co.nz

Due to the increased efforts of the government to crack down on teen vaping, the past few years have seen an astounding amount of new disposable and nonregulated vapes that are now available. This is particularly concerning because the government can not regulate the chemicals in these new products and now many teens are being exposed to these possibly extremely dangerous disposable vapes. 

This is not a new problem, as with prohibition in the 1920s, we are seeing a similar trend one hundred years later. Because the government wants to get rid of the opportunities for new teens to start vaping, they are limiting the availability, however, the teens that are already addicted, have no choice but to pick up these dangerous unregulated devices. Just as the government crackdown lead to the extremely dangerous making of illegal alcohol during prohibition, new vapes are much more dangerous than the original product. 

The long-term effects of vaping are still unknown and could potentially be worse than the cigarettes that they were created as a solution for. What was originally marketed as a way to help cigarette smokers quit, is now creating a new contingent of smokers, that may never have started without access to these new “cigarettes.”

If you or someone you know has a problem with vaping or another addictive subject, don’t be afraid to reach out.  Use the link below for assistance: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o-Jc3NGyaqrxwslg4CBsAJMgmTXNbZxEoUW7JkW_JOs/mobilebasic?usp=gmail_thread

Ian Rielly