Vaping Crisis

Teenagers are guinea pigs for big corporations

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Vaping Crisis

Macie May, Staff Writer, Photography Crew

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Teenagers, beware.  You are being used. Big corporations like Juul may have targeted underaged customers by creating small, sleek, secretive vapes attractive to underaged students in order to make money –  and without concern for your long term health. In other words, Juul appears to be using teenagers as guinea pigs.  Because the product is new and research data is not yet available, who knows what the long term health problems of using the vapes might be?  Juul doesn’t seem to care about that.

Vaping began as an alternative meant to help cigarette smokers quit smoking cigarettes.  However, teens in schools like Lancaster High School are now using vapes and e-cigs. Some e-cigs such as Juuls contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes and a majority of teenagers aren’t aware of this. Some students claim that the only reason they use a vape is because they want a “buzz”; a rush of epinephrine and dopamine in the brain which causes you to feel very relaxed. The bad thing about a “buzz” is that you most likely end up being reliant on your Juul to feel good.  That leads to addiction.

“The one thing that made me want to start using a Juul is because I wanted to experience a buzz,” said one LHS junior, “and all of my friends had Juuls.  Even though it is expensive to buy pods, I still end up buying them.”

Several high school admitted to using a small discrete Juul product and a few said they use a bulky vape. One of the reasons for using a Juul is that it is easy to conceal and students said they want to be able to  vape at school and in public while being inconspicuous.

“I got a Juul because it’s easy to hide and I like being able to get buzzed whenever I want to, even if it is at school, the grocery store, or anywhere, really,” stated a senior at LHS.

Underage teenagers have their older friends buy the vapes as accessory products such as refill pods and vape juice. It’s illegal in the state of Ohio to purchase products that contain nicotine or tobacco for people that are underage but those upperclassmen don’t seem to be aware that they could face fines of $200-$1,000 if caught.

If you are thinking about Juuling or vaping in school, then think twice because it is illegal and the consequences could be serious.  LHS principal, Scott Burre had this to say about the vaping crisis and the administration’s crack down to end vaping at Lancaster High School.

“Vaping is a nationwide epidemic that is not safe for teenagers.  It is a violation of the Serious Misconduct Code which may lead to suspension or expulsion,” he said.  “We are exploring options to give students services to help with this epidemic in situations that may be necessary.” 

Eye of the Gale has come to a consensus on the issue of companies like Juul who appear to be marketing their adult products to teenagers without care or concern for our long term health.  We don’t like the fact that we are being targeted and baited like helpless fish subjected to a potentially deadly hook. Juul, by the way, is currently under investigation by the FDA as research shows that kids who use e-cigarettes, which usually contain addictive nicotine, may be more likely to pick up cigarettes and other tobacco products later on.