Vaping Takes Control of Teens
The teen vaping epidemic persists. The government, media, and schools must do a better job in educating the young malleable minds of teenagers. This year the rate of teen e-cigarette users more than doubled since 2017, according to the University of Michigan. The University gathered research on how much high school students used nicotine over different time periods. In 2017, 8% of 10th graders used nicotine in the last month. In 2019, that number almost tripled at 20% using nicotine.
When the nicotine issue was addressed to the secretary of health and human professions in the White House, Alex Azar II, called for an insufficient proposition. He claimed he will draft a ban on most flavored e-cigarettes like mint and menthol. Dr. Sharon Levy is mistaken to believe the flavor ban is effective because what will stop teens from using other flavors? Teens aren’t addicted to the taste of e-cigarettes, but the nicotine in them. Companies will just figure out a way around the ban too.
The campaigns against vaping for teens have all failed by government agencies, the vaping industry, and schools, which isn’t a surprise. Teenagers will not stop vaping until it is drilled into their brain that vaping is bad for them and there is living proof. Many teens believe that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes. While there are less chemicals and the amounts are lower in e-cigarettes, there is still cause for concern. E-cigarettes contain carcinogens such as benzene that cause health risks. Also, e-cigarette companies don’t fully disclose their ingredients either leading to more chemicals and nicotine being ingested.
There are already commercials educating teens on the damaging effects of juuling but it’s not enough. Truth TV does an excellent job communicating that one juul pod is equal to 20 cigarettes of nicotine. This is a scary and influential fact, however we need more exposure to save our teenagers. We need the heart wrenching “juuling killed my dad” commercials to persuade kids that it’s dangerous.
The known effects of cigarettes and the exposure teens received in the classroom, on commercials, billboards, and just being around smokers influenced teens not to smoke cigarettes. In 2018, 8.1% of high school students smoked a cigarette, however; 20.8% used e-cigarettes that same year. Without legitimate facts that vaping is damaging the body, the campaign to stop e-cigarette use among minors is inadequate and will not succeed.
Strict laws will reduce the number of teen smokers. The University of Southern California discovered that in areas where retail stores containing tobacco products were more strictly policed, teens were a third less likely to try cigarettes or e-cigarettes compared to areas where the law was being neglected. There is more hope to save teens if the laws were just enforced.