Nico-teens: The Dangers of Teen Vaping


Photography, Dani Patalano

A student draws on the board to promote staying away from nicotine.

Throughout the past decade, vaping has no doubt been a problem in a large majority of American schools.  Since 2014, teens have preferred electronic cigarettes to its real counterpart, making it the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. teens.  Within our U.S. school systems, it is estimated by the CDC that over 14% of highschool teens participate in vaping.


The big question is, how did this epidemic begin?  One large factor in the start of underage vaping is the appeal.  Mainstream tobacco companies heavily rely on appealing to teens and young adults so that they will be able to sell more products and get people to buy into what they are trying to sell.  How do they do this?  One main way companies like JUUL are able to reel in so many teens is the use of many fruity flavors, like orange and even blue lemon.  They are also easy to access, almost too easy.  If you were to ask any teen who vapes where they get all of their products, odds are they either know someone older who gets what they want, or they may even have a fake ID.  


Another way this problem began is the false sense of security regarding lung and overall health.  While it has been believed for a long time that E-cigarettes were 100% safer than traditional cigarettes, this is far from the case.  Vaping exposes your body to just as many, if not more harmful chemicals.  Chemicals like aerosol can harm both the user, as well as people around them.  This means that the continuously increasing number of teens who vape are harming not only themselves, but also the other students around them throughout the school day.


What do the students who don’t vape think about the increasing number of students who participate in vaping around them?  Gabriel Patterson (10), believes that “The teachers could do  better at catching students who vape during school hours.” He went on to say that “overall vaping is terrible for your health, and you should just stop.”


It’s no secret that vaping is a danger to students in every school in America, and until there is more done by teachers, health officials , and parents, the number of nicotine-addicted students will only continue to rise.