Vaping: an Epidemic
Can I get a pod, bro?
E-cigarettes, seemingly harmless and safe, were originally created as a tool for addicted smokers to use in order to put their harmful cigarette-using past behind them. However, the creation of these E-cigs(a.k.a vapes) has created unintended implications, especially in the teen age-range.
E-cigs currently represent one of the largest global industries and they are projected to be worth 43 billion dollars by 2023(according to PR Newswire). Although, the industry hasn’t necessarily grown because of the recovering adults that this product was created for.
The industry has instead grown due to the youth(teen and young adult) usage of this product. The adolescent population has most likely become hooked on these vapes because a friend or family member uses them, the availability of the fruity flavors is appealing, and the belief and advertisement that this is a much safer product than other forms of tobacco(ex: cigarettes).
However, you may ask where and how the underage minors have gotten ahold of these addictive vapes. Well, it is much easier to do than one may think. These minors can purchase these reasonably inexpensive vapes by getting an older friend or family member to purchase it for them or they can easily buy it off another friend who already has one. Additionally, when you take into consideration that about 20% of all high schoolers have vaped(per PsychiatricNews.com), it is clear to see that it is not difficult to get ahold of one of these popular devices.
The most popular E-cigs are JUULS. JUULS are by far the most popular vapes and these USB compatible devices can easily be charged, restocked with new pods, and used frequently. Although the restocking of pods can eventually make this product a very expensive investment, the addiction and vaping takeover have influenced the continual buying of these vape products.
The vaping and JUULing epidemic has furthermore created national slang. The references “Why are there toilets in the JUUL room?” and “No length is too far to get a rip of the JUUL” are repeated daily on a nationwide scale. The phrase “Why are there toilets in the JUUL room?” is calling attention to the fact that most high school bathrooms are no longer used for going to the bathroom but have rather become “vape havens” for the fiends so addicted to the nic buzz that they feel the constant urge to use the bathrooms to vape.
High school bathroom problems have officially shifted from immature boys seeing how far back they could stand without missing the miniscule 12 by 16 inch urinals(which is actually an extraordinary feat) to the new use of bathrooms as a “vape asylum.”
In response to this “vaping epidemic” among mostly high school and college-aged kids, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(the FDA) has stated that they are “going to be taking some enforcement actions very soon to target companies that (they) think are marketing products in ways that they’re deliberately appealing to kids.”
Although smart for the FDA to help out, how much can they really do in a society of vape hungry teens? To all you underage vape fiends out there, even though the FDA may be trying to crack down on you, don’t worry because the vapes most likely will be going nowhere soon- the FDA cannot do that much to stop the underage vaping.
Even though it may look like these vapes are detrimental and ruinous to the kid users from an adult perspective, these vapes seem a perfect alternative to almost all teens. They so far have been proven safer, they are fun to use and cool tricks can be performed if you’re an experienced vapor(examples of some fun tricks: https://vapingdaily.com/what-is-vaping/vape-tricks/ ), and they are a good alternative to worse and more dangerous drugs. In fact, opium and drinking usage by teens has been at all time lows in recent years- and almost definitely because of the rise in E-cigs.
As long as these vapes are kept off campus so that you don’t walk into a “phat cloud” every time you enter a high school bathroom, they seem to be a perfect and fun device(when used in moderation).