BY HANNAH LASSNER
A&E SECTION EDITOR
Smoking cigarettes has always been a major trend in past generations. Ages ranging from teenagers to adults used to smoke these dangerous substances daily. The popular kids in movies would be holding a cigarette, making the deadly stick look “cool” to use. However, when the harmful and dangerous statistics came out, cigarette smokers declined. Some individuals who used to have bad smoking habits, now could have problems with breathing. Unfortunately, the epidemic has resurfaced, just in a different version.
The relatively new term called vaping was meant to lean heavy smokers off smoking cigarettes. Modern devices that are battery powered give off vapor, incorporating a mix of glycerol and nicotine. Some even have flavored mixtures in them. Nicotine is an addictive chemical; however, it hides behind a flavor, masking its true danger. The universal series bus (USB)-look could likely be missed by teachers, parents or others. The easily hidden gadget also has no scent to it, unlike cigarettes used to have. These aspects to the modernized version of smoking could be why high schoolers are inclined to purchase one of these life-threatening products. Since the issue of vaping is relatively new, it could be likely people are unaware of the negative effects this device has on the human body over time.
An individual has to be 18 to purchase these devices in gas stations or vaping stores. However, there are high school students who get ahold of these gadgets constantly and use them illegally. Starting this harmful addiction so young could lead them to be deadly to their bodies as they age. News stories arise almost every day; reports trying to warn people of the harmful chemicals and informing audiences of the teenagers who have died from vaping. But it has not gone away; it seems as though the epidemic has gotten worse. The government has recently been involved in efforts to ban these flavored products to try and stop teenagers from purchasing them.
Vaping companies such as Juul, market their products on applications like Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter. Since social media is becoming more popular with recent generations, these apps have more of a reach and influence on high school students. This could lead vaping companies to advertising to the wrong target audience. Celebrities also flaunt these products within their feed, promoting these damaging devices even more. This reflects how cigarette smoking came to be popular, almost like history is repeating itself.
This new industry needs to be stopped. There have been deaths from this rising epidemic and a major increase of children smokers. This was originally meant to lean heavy smokers off of cigarettes, not to harm underage children and the majority of high schoolers. It is harmful on bodies, even if negative results are not showing right away. Also, vaping could become highly addictive when users have ahold of these devices as they grow older, which may end in users smoking worse products.