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Nationwide Vaping Epidemic Plagues High Schools

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Nationwide Vaping Epidemic Plagues High Schools

 In 2018, 25.9 percent of NHS students reported vaping in the past 30 days; the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey confirmed.

In 2018, 25.9 percent of NHS students reported vaping in the past 30 days; the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey confirmed.

In 2018, 25.9 percent of NHS students reported vaping in the past 30 days; the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey confirmed.

In 2018, 25.9 percent of NHS students reported vaping in the past 30 days; the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey confirmed.

Ashlyn Jacobs, Student of Journalism

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A rapid increase in E-cigarette use among teens in recent years leaves high schools across America searching for ways to combat nicotine addiction in students.

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of students who are vaping,” Christine Christensen, alcohol and drug prevention coordinator for N.J.S.D., said.

Many high school students both in Neenah and across the nation use electronic cigarettes, devices that contain harmful and addictive chemicals such as nicotine.

Results from a 2017 survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that 27.8 percent of high school seniors in the United States have tried vaping in the past year.

Neenah is among many cities now facing the issue. In 2018, 25.9 percent of NHS students reported vaping in the past 30 days; the results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey confirmed.

The City of Neenah passed an ordinance Sept. 19 banning minors from vaping; violating the ordinance results in a fine of either $92.50 or $187 depending age. Liaison Officer Vicki Strebel first proposed the ordinance to the city council.

With the vaping plague suddenly sweeping schools, concern grows for the safety of e-cigarettes and the effects it can have on one’s health.

“The chemicals inside these vaping devices can cause health problems later,” NHS Police School Liaison Officer Vicki Strebel warned.

Juuls, a brand popular among teens, make up approximately 40 percent of the E-cigarette market, according to an article in the Healthline electronic newsletter by Leah Campbell.

What attracts teens, the article said, is their discreet disguise; the devices resemble an ordinary USB drive.

Not only are the Juuls easily concealed, but they also boast an array of enticing flavors, including cool mint, mango, fruit medley and crème brûlée.

A cloud of confusion exists regarding what the inhaled aerosol actually contains; of the high school seniors observed in the NIDA survey, 52 percent believed the vapor consists of solely flavoring.

The eye-catching flavors initially draw students in, but the nicotine keeps them hooked. One Juul pod typically contains the same amount of nicotine, a highly addictive substance, as an entire pack of cigarettes, Christensen said.

Though underage cigarette smoking has gone down significantly in the past few decades, studies show teens who vape have four times the chance of smoking in the future, a New York Times article from April 2018 said.

Vapor inhaled from these devices has potential to affect the body in multiple ways, according to the Healthline article. Nicotine alone can impact metabolism and respiratory health, as well as increase the risk for cancer.

Little research exists on the long-term health effects of vaping. No one regulates the market for E-cigarette devices, making it easier for companies to advertise to teens, Officer Strebel said.

To date, since the passing of the ordinance, the police liaison officer issued fines to 10 students for 11 e-cig incidents. Additionally, the students received consequences from the school.  In contrast, the amount of vaping incidents reported last school year totaled 33 among 30 students.

School officials have several guesses as to why teens latch on to the wildfire-like craze. Social media helped to boost vaping in acceptance, Christensen said.

Aside from following popularity, students may also look to vaping as an outlet — as a means of escape.

As the year advances, both Christensen and Officer Strebel hope to see students making more educated decisions about vaping and its consequences, both health-related and legal.

“I’m not one to say writing tickets is going to solve this,” Officer Strebel said, “I want to work with kids and show them it is not a healthy alternative to their issues.”

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Nationwide Vaping Epidemic Plagues High Schools”

  1. Bryce on November 19th, 2018 12:56 PM

    This is sad. This means that maybe (maybe..) 1 in 4 people have juuled.

  2. Josh Arneson on November 19th, 2018 12:57 PM

    I think that this article helps students become aware of the harms of vaping

  3. Taylor Keen on November 19th, 2018 6:58 PM

    This piece gave quite a few convincing arguments not only through the facts but with its conclusions from the facts. I found it interesting that the amount of students vaping has increased in such a short amount of time.

  4. Evan Miracle on November 20th, 2018 9:17 AM

    I really appreciate the amount of research found for this article. It really helps legitimize your argument. It does make me wonder what other methods are being used to diminish e-cigarettes in schools.

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Nationwide Vaping Epidemic Plagues High Schools