The Cost of Vaping

The insight on Liberty's vaping problem

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The Cost of Vaping

Most students illegally obtain vape through online sales and friends of legal age.

Most students illegally obtain vape through online sales and friends of legal age.

Olivia Holler

Most students illegally obtain vape through online sales and friends of legal age.

Olivia Holler

Olivia Holler

Most students illegally obtain vape through online sales and friends of legal age.

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Though many consider marijuana to be the drug of choice by teens across the nation, smokeless tobacco and vaping is on the rise to become the most popular illegally obtained and used drug.

According to drugabuse.gov, 17% of  US 12th graders reported using e cig in the past 30 days.

Electronic cigarettes give out a odorless aerosol often containing nicotine or synthetic marijuana powered by batteries.

In the Wentzville School District, since it may contain nicotine; a controlled substance, possession and/or use of an electronic cigarette falls under section 17 of the Student Misconduct and Disciplinary Consequences handbook, and punishment usually results in suspension.

At Liberty, it’s typically a 2 day suspension and a parent notification. The school is a smoke free facility.

“It’s not only just a problem here at Liberty but in the nation. Kids don’t think it’s not a health risk– they think it’s better off than cigarettes, it’s also easier to hide. We are just trying to keep everyone safe because it can be addicting and it’s dangerous,” said assistant principal Mr. Pryor.

In addition to consequences at school, the legal repercussions may cost students a criminal order in where they may have to appear in court and pay a fine of up to $25 for a first offense.

“As a person under the age of 18, you can receive a criminal summons for being in possession of a tobacco products,” Resource Officer Young said. “That would include; smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, anything that contains a tobacco product.”  

For many students, the reason behind underage vape use is simply peer pressure as friends above all, influence teenagers. For an anonymous source, they were introduced to vaping through their friends and thought it looked “cool”. However, they had already begun smoking cigarettes before vaping and thought that vaping would be a healthy alternative to cigarettes. Aside from the penalties one could possible receive both legally and from the school, students still continue to vape under the false impression that vaping has less health risks than smoking cigarettes. But despite the common misconceptions about vaping being less harmful compared to smoking, there are many health risks attached to all forms of underage smoking, including vaping.

“Popcorn lung is a side effect of vaping, as is the possibility of nicotine addiction. Nobody is immune to any of the side effects, no matter what age you are,” school nurse Thomason said.

Also you can possibly get lung disease or lung cancer. Some of the side effects are mouth and throat burns.  Electronic cigarettes have not been around long enough for the bad health effects to be revealed through research.

It depends on what’s in the electronic cigarette will differ in health risks and side effects.

According to drugabuse.gov, 13.2 percent nicotine is in their E-Cig, 5.8 percent said Marijuana, 66 percent said just flavoring, 13.7 percent don’t know what is in it and 1.3 percent said other.

“It’s a danger of not knowing what you are going to get,” said school nurse Cunningham. The amount of  nicotine can vary depending on what brand you get.

Despite the popularity of vaping, the combination of the health and legal risks do not make the drug worth it.

Some information provided by Max Fensterman