Nic-Sickness Among Teens Increases

Lastest risk with vaping relased


Lauren Whalen, Photograhpy Crew

Vaping related illnesses in the United States are rising fast. Close to 50 people have died and thousands have been sickened nationwide in the past year.

One of the culprits for the new health crisis is nicotine. Known as nic-sick, adults, teenagers, and even children have reported a wide range of symptoms including vomiting, headaches, chest pain, dizziness, and disorientation.

In serious cases of nicotine overdose, seizures have been reported.

All nicotine is addictive. When it comes to e-cigarettes and vaping, the risk is high because more than 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and some brands like Juul, contain an excessive amount of nicotine (American Lung Association). Most kids don’t know Juul contains nicotine. Nearly 2 out of 3 youth current Juul users incorrectly thought the product did not always contain nicotine (ALA).

Two LHS students who vape agreed to be interviewed but did not want to give their names. They are referred to as Student A and Student B.

Student A said coughing is the only health concern, so far.

“With my health, I haven’t seen anything serious yet, but after I do get done vaping, I have some coughing afterward.”

The teenage vaping crisis is so alarming that Netflix included the vaping epidemic in an episode of its new docu-series, Broken, which aired last month.  A number of teenagers tell their stories of nicotine addition and health issues due to their habit of vaping in the show.

In a recent survey, more than five million American teenagers said they have used e-cigarette products in the past month.  Almost a million teens said that they used vapes daily, making vapes the biggest substance use ever in this age group (Food and Drug Administration Youth Survey).

There are various reasons why people start using vapes including peer pressure, attractive flavors, and the buzz they get from the nicotine.

“I started vaping not due to peer pressure but because I thought the smoke from the vape was satisfying to watch and I wanted to try it for myself,” said Student A.

Student B said a vape was initially offered to him.

“My older brother wanted me to hit his vape a few times so did, I liked seeing the smoke and I loved the nicotine buzz that I got from it, so I kept doing it for a few weeks.”

Stacy Parker a 46-year-old Lancaster resident said she started vaping as an alternative to smoking.

“I started vaping to stop smoking cigarettes. With vaping, you can choose your flavor and it doesn’t smell half as bad as cigarettes,” she said.

Lancaster High School has a very strict policy against any drugs on campus including vapes.

“First-time offenders will be assigned to three days in in-school suspension as a consequence,” said Andrew Knuckles, Assistant Principal.

“They will also be assigned an online Vape Education course to complete. The course takes around 5 hours if they work continuously.

Repeat offenders will be assigned out of school suspension,” he said. The CDC said that in addition to nicotine addiction and overdose, black market vapes may contain controversial additives such as THC, vitamin E acetate, and other chemicals that pose health problems for users.