Can we really stop teens from vaping?


Marielis Mejias

A Breeze-Nicotine

You’re in class and your teacher leaves. And, in the corner of your eye you see a kid take out their vape and hit it. The teacher comes back and acts like nothing happened. Because as far as she is concerned nothing did happen. It was that quick.
We all know that smoking/vaping is bad for you…but others beg to differ. Vapes contain nicotine which is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Nicotine could leave you with a stroke, heart attack, popcorn lung, shortness of breath, severe lung injury, or a seizure. Some kids may think that vaping is harmless because they offer kid-friendly and appealing flavors. They’re also easy to hide and easy to do inside, like bedrooms, bathrooms, and classrooms.
Not only is nicotine bad for you, so is marijuana. Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug. Marijuana causes impaired thinking and interferes with a person’s ability to learn. THC also disrupts functioning of the brain areas that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time.
Despite all those effects of both marijuana and nicotine…teens still chose to continue to abuse them.
However, many WHS students vape because “it’s fun.” Others would tell you that it makes them “feel calm”.
Teens know vaping/smoking is bad for them. They know that it really doesn’t benefit them, but they like it and are addicted. Some may say the only way it does benefit them is because it makes them “chill.”

“Vaping is nasty,” said WHS student Miles Roy. “I just like catching my clouds for real.” Now others may not even like vaping themselves but find some type of pleasure in doing so.
We all know vaping/smoking is highly addictive. Marijuana and nicotine are sometimes gateways away from all the stress revolving around teens’ lives, whether that’s school, sports, or even things going on at home. While others claim they aren’t addicted to anything and can quit anytime.
Teens are vaping/smoking in many different places. Whether that’s the bathrooms, breakout rooms, or even in classrooms when teachers aren’t paying attention.
Regardless of getting caught or almost caught, teens will continue to engage in vaping/smoking here at WHS.
“It’s a fruity flavor, it’s like a treat,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. Vapes have these appealing flavors. Some flavors consist of Lush Ice, Strawberry Kiwi, Cherry Cola, and Anejo. But, those are just a few among many flavors. Teens usually smoke Breezes and Elf Bars here at WHS, though there are many different kinds of brands associated with vapes.
THC poses a similar problem. It is something you can’t necessarily smoke at school unless you have things called cartridges. Carts are small cannabis cartridges containing oil concentrates of the plant’s active medicinal ingredients. Once you attach it to a vape pen you then have easy access to smoking it. They’re easy to sneak in and out of places.

Teens don’t realize how much vaping/smoking affects their brain, motivation, and learning. It can make it harder to concentrate. Some of the brain changes are permanent and can affect your mood and ability to control your impulses as an adult. Marijuana creates short-term memory loss, making it difficult to recall information and remember events accurately. For students that smoke marijuana regularly, this can create issues in school by lowering test scores and decreasing the quality of assignments.

Counselors, behavior workers, teachers, and principals all know that there is an issue here at WHS. Many have busted kids in their time working here at WHS. “Yes, it is a problem here at school,” stated Mr. Hernandez, dean of students at WHS. “There is much research that shows that it’s not healthy. In the long run, it won’t be favorable to you.”
Recent studies have shown students who vape are more susceptible to cavities. “They cannot stop [negative effects from] happening unless they see it,” Mr. Hernandez said. “I can only hope, wish, and talk to kids about it.”