Not cool to Juul

Vaping epidemic in the United States and in our own neighborhood

Nicholas Myers, Reporter

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Vaping, or the consumption of nicotine through vapor, has become a widespread phenomenon amongst high schoolers all across the nation. Vaping chemicals have recently caused an outbreak of lung illnesses among e-cigarette users.  Eight users have died due to lung illness, sparking an investigation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Companies such as Juul or Vuse have developed flavors for the nicotine, including mango, dragonfruit, and watermelon, giving the consumer a smoother and more flavorful hit of nicotine. In order for these companies to achieve those flavorings they use other additives such as diacetyl, a common popcorn butter ingredient. This ingredient causes a disease called popcorn lung to form, which can create shortness of breath and even nausea.

In light of these risks, the Trump Administration announced last week that they are moving to  ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. While it hasn’t been fully put into motion yet, some states have already taken a step to ban flavored e-cigarettes. Michigan announced in early September that they are banning e-cigarettes, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has just recently announced that the state of New York will ban the sale of these products. 

Just like other high schools across the nation, Battle hasn’t been immune to this vaping epidemic. An anonymous source said, “It’s actually surprising to find someone who doesn’t vape at Battle, it’s everywhere you go here.” 

While the problem of vaping at Battle is very real and prominent, the administration has not released a statement. 

Many students have stopped or have considered stopping vaping after seeing the recent news of the side effects. “I have stopped [vaping], because people are dying from it and so it’s really scary and plus it makes you feel sick,” an anonymous source said. 

Although some students have stopped vaping, the obsession with the flavors continues as more and more high schoolers begin to vape. “I have not stopped, it honestly just feels and tastes so good,” another anonymous source said. 

Although administration has yet to publicly address the issue, the school board has teamed up with Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services to stop teen vaping through an anti-vaping campaign called “Stand Up For Your Own Health.” The campaign will kick off this fall and use advertisements on platforms such as Spotify or Snapchat. Boone County residents from 13 to 21 years old will be directly targeted.

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