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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Staff Editorial: Vaping epidemic

    In today’s day and age, students tend to turn a blind eye towards trends that are negatively impacting their health. One of which is vaping, which has long-term consequences and has been proven to be highly addictive. Students should stop using e-cigarette and vape products due to the risks they pose.

    While many believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, this has been found to be untrue. Many vape companies sell products that contain almost the same amount of nicotine, if not more, than cigarettes.
    According to Yale Medicine, vape and e-cigarette pods contain nicotine that is two to ten times more concentrated and a single pod from a vape manufacturer has 0.7 mL of nicotine, which is equivalent to 20 regular cigarettes.
    According to the Washington Post, “cases of death have been linked to devices from Juul, the brand that commands more than 70 percent of the nicotine-vaping market in the United States.”
    Due to the high levels of nicotine, vape pens and e-cigarettes are just as addictive as traditional cigarettes. Moreover, nicotine can damage the developing brains of adolescents.
    Neuroscientist Marina Picciotto PhD explained to Yale Medicine, “Adolescents don’t think they will get addicted to nicotine, but when they do want to stop, they find it’s very difficult to do so.”
    Besides nicotine, vape pens and e-cigarettes also contain harmful ingredients and toxins. According to the Office of the US Surgeon General, vape pens contain heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead. Favorants include diacetyl, a chemical known to cause lung disease.
    “As of November 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 47 deaths in patients who used e-cigarette or vaping products were associated with lung injury,” stated researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
    Substances found in e-cigarette vapor have also been linked to an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular health issues.
    Symptoms associated with vaping have included severe shortness of breath and chest pains, which eventually lead to hospitalization.
    The article also revealed that the number of middle school and high school students using vape and e-cigarette products jumped from 2.1 million in 2017, to 3.6 million in 2018.
    Easy accessibility to vape and e-cigarette products have attributed to the issue. Students can purchase vape pens and pods online, or from stores near them. For example, Just Vape LA and LA Vapor, are located less than a mile away from Gabrielino High School and Jefferson Middle School.
    While there are currently laws in place restricting minors under the age of 18 from purchasing vape and e-ciagrette products, schools should install vape detectors in bathrooms to further restrict the amount of students vaping. In addition, ordinances should be put in place prohibiting vape shops from operating within a two mile radius from schools.
    Vaping and e-cigarette usage has numerous health risks for students, both short and long-term. In order to ensure long, healthy lives, students should avidly avoid and stop using vaping products.

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    Staff Editorial: Vaping epidemic