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The Dangers of JUULs and Vaping

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By Smith Bradshaw

First came the Tide Pod trend, but now a new, even more widespread trend is sweeping kids and teens across the nation. Vaping, which started as a niche trend, has grown out of control into a nationwide phenomenon. This is especially true with a type of vape called “JUULs”, which are rapidly gaining popularity in schools and communities across the nation. Under the false guise that JUULs are ‘not harmful’, kids are abusing the vapes and ultimately harming themselves and their well-being. But, since JUULs and other vapes, in anything, healthier than smoking and most other drugs, what is the truth about this relatively new trend?

First of all, vaping and JUULs are actually somewhat safer than most other drugs. According to JUULvapor, the company that makes JUULs, vaping is a ‘safer alternative’ to smoking and other drugs. This is true, since JUULs replace the tobacco smoke of cigarettes with water vapor, which is much easier on the user’s lungs. Additionally, according to ecigarettereviewed.com, vapes also reduce secondhand smoke, which is beneficial for everyone in the user’s immediate area, too. To summarize, vapes and JUULs are relatively healthy, in comparison to other drugs and cigarettes.

On the other hand, despite the belief that vaping and JUULs are entirely benign, JUULs actually can be very harmful to those who use them. For example, WebMD maintains that while vaping is slightly healthier than smoking cigarettes, they are still very detrimental, especially in kids and teenagers. Vaping can cause anything from heart and artery problems to stalled memory development in teens, WebMD explains. Not only this, but JUULs are also highly addictive, considering the amount of nicotine they contain. Nicotine, a chemical commonly found in tobacco and cigarettes, is even more addictive than alcohol, which makes vaping extremely hard to quit, according to businessinsider.com. This nicotine furthers the damage that vapes cause, ravaging the user’s body even more. The nicotine in vapes can easily damage one’s immune system, and cause anything from headaches to nausea to high blood pressure, according to e-liquidzine.com. So, even though vapes and JUULs are better than traditional smoking, they are still far from healthy.

Furthermore, vapes and JUULs are becoming almost omnipresent in youth culture across the nation, with kids and teens excessively using them at home, and attempting to use them at school. According to slttoday.com, vape use among students grew 900% from 2011 to 2015. This is not surprising, since most vapes can fit in a student’s pocket or look similar to flash drives, staying inconspicuous.

Fortunately, almost all Landrum students interviewed recognize vaping as bad for the body, keeping the vapes and JUULs from taking their omnipresent position at LMS. For instance, seventh grader Will Mathis describes vaping as “bad for young people, since it is unhealthy and potentially dangerous to one’s body.” The fact that students such as Will are aware that vaping is not as harmless as it seems is definitely a good sign. Most students interviewed even affirm that vaping is not as widespread here in the Landrum community as it is in other parts of the country. “While there still are some who attempt to vape, I think that there are much less vape users at Landrum compared to other parts of the country”, seventh grader Marina Mitchell explains. To summarize, with the vaping and JUUL-ing trends sweeping the nation, they are thankfully not taking full influence here at Landrum.

In conclusion, while vaping is better than most other drugs, like cigarettes, vapes and JUULs are still far from healthy. With side effects ranging from headaches to lung problems, vapes and JUULs should, without doubt, be avoided, especially by kids and teens. Even though the trend is not in full effect in the Landrum community, there is still a decent number of misinformed vape users here. So, regardless of location, there is much work to be done to spread the word about vapes and JUULs and stop the underage use of vapes.

 

By Alexandra Ateniese

The twenty first century is full of new modern technologies that are growing by the day. Desired
items are being created all over the world such as the favored iPhone X with improved technology, an
iRobot that specializes in cleaning your floors, or wireless earbuds that prevent tangled cords. However,
not all technologies are helpful to people in our society. A popular item that may be noticed when out at
the beach, shopping at the mall, or at a local park are electronic cigarettes, also known as e- cigarettes or
juuls. An electronic cigarette is a device similar to a cigarette, containing a nicotine- based liquid along
with flavoring and other chemicals that’s vaporized and inhaled. This is sparking the interests of many.
There are many health concerns surrounding this habit, various opinions about these items, and action
taken to protect individuals from these harmful devices.
To start off, there are many health concerns when using an electronic cigarette or juul. These
products are most popular among smokers who are trying to find an alternative to smoking. This favored
item is not only being considered by adults, but by teenagers as well, even though the legal age to smoke
is 18 years old. According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Electronic Cigarettes (ECigarettes),”
smoking e- cigarettes or juuls, affect the brain in a negative way. E- liquids contain a
dangerous substance called nicotine that enters your bloodstream and stimulates the release of epinephrine
(adrenaline). This stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart
rate. Additionally, nicotine increases levels of a chemical messenger in the brain which motivates some
people to continue using e- cigarettes and juuls. Having increased blood pressure, heavy breathing, and a
faster heart rate is dangerous to someone’s well being. It limits people’s ability to perform well in
physical activities. “Australia bans the possession and sale of electronic cigarettes which contain nicotine,
citing that every form of nicotine except for replacement therapies and cigarettes are classified as a form
of poison,” (Consumer Advocates For Smoke Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), “A Historical
Timeline of Electronic Cigarettes”). Citizens and scientists from all over are realizing the harm from these
devices. Everyone knows poison is harmful to the human body. Even though this may not harm it
immediately, it’s damaging the body slowly. Therefore, there are health concerns involved when using
electronic cigarettes and juuls.
Many people have an opinion about using electronic cigarettes and juuls. They are bad for anyone
no matter which way you analyze the situation. “64% of parents and 71% of teens support banning candy
– and fruit- flavored e- cigarettes,” (“Teens and parents agree: Electronic cigarettes need restrictions,” UM
Health System). Appealing flavors such as cinnamon and mint can further interest teenagers and adults
to want to try an electronic cigarette or a juul. Toxic chemicals are being added into your body, thus,
making this an unhealthy practice. Likewise, Dr. Steven Masters, a family practice physician at
Knoxville’s Summit Medical Group, told the WBIR, “ ‘…it’s so addictive, when kids start using nicotine
by any means, they’re going to get a good chance that they’ll get addicted to it and start smoking.’ ”
Smoking is another form of transmitting nicotine into someone’s body. This is harmful to your brain and
your lungs, and can cause permanent damage. Hence, opinions have arose about this form of technology.
Finally, action has been taken to protect individuals from the danger of electronic cigarettes and
juuls. For instance, “Know The Risks E- Cigarettes and Young People” suggested that parents have a
conversation with their children to inform them about the harmful aspects of these drugs. Talking to them
will allow them to really understand the harm that nicotine can cause to your brain, as it still grows.
Furthermore, there are vaping support groups, online and in person, that can help you talk about this topic.
Group members, or a website in general may allow you to convince yourself not to inhale this addictive
drug due to facts on the website. For example, the American Vaping Association, along with other
websites, allow you to reach out to the website personally or in an online support group. A support group
may give you advice on how to stop using these devices, or reasons on why not to vape. Thus, ways to
educate people about electronic cigarettes and juuls is always important.
In conclusion, next time you see an electronic cigarette or a juul advice yourself to consider these
facts. Keeping yourself healthy and happy is important. Remember doing what you enjoy such as after
school activities can all be impacted by using an electronic cigarette or juul. Therefore, there are many
health concerns, opinions, and ways to protect yourself from electronic cigarettes and juuls.
– 30 –

 

 

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