Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

The student news site of Tuscarora High School

Titan Times

Partnership for a Healthier America
School Stress
Addison Selby, Creative Writing Submission • June 7, 2024

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New “Trend” in Vaping

Holland Hospital
Holland Hospital

The e-cigarette was invented in 2003 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, who initially developed the device to serve as an alternative to conventional smoking. In addition to the battery component, an e-cigarette comprises an atomizer and a cartridge containing either a nicotine or a non-nicotine liquid solution.

Over the years vaping has become a more and more serious health problem. Diacetyl is frequently added to flavored e-liquid to enhance the taste. Inhaling diacetyl causes inflammation and may lead to permanent scarring in the smallest branches of the airways popcorn lung, which makes breathing difficult. Popcorn lung has no lasting treatment.

 The most important issue in Generation Z is the increasing rate of vaping because most teens  believe it is not as harmful as cigarettes, it is addictive, and perceived as “cool”. Gen Z believes vaping is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes, which has proven to be wrong by an article that says “No matter how it enters the body, nicotine makes immediate changes to the central nervous system, binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and upregulating new receptors, which simultaneously creates both increased tolerance and cravings for more nicotine” (Watkins).

This shows how no matter the way that the nicotine enters a person’s body all of it is harmful, this is to show Gen Z that no matter how they consume nicotine it is still harmful and vapes are not the safer option. Both cigarettes and vapes are highly addictive. This also shows why and how it becomes addictive. 

You may be wondering how many teens use vapes,  the start of vaping is usually started by peer pressure or influence on the young mind. According to John Hopkins University, “more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2021, with more than 8 in 10 of those youth using flavored e-cigarettes”(Blaha).

Why? Why vape? Most teens find it appealing, says the article “ Finally, youths and adults find the lack of smoke appealing. With no smell, e-cigarettes reduce some of the stigma of smoking.” These 2 pieces of evidence show how vaping is becoming a trend in teens and the numbers of teens vaping  keep increasing. Vaping is becoming a popular “trend” for teens and is perceived as “cool “ and appealing but also a national issue that needs to be addressed. 

I asked three students who I personally know participate in vaping: What caused them to start vaping? Why do they vape? How does it make them feel?

All three students informed me that they vape because “why not?!” They did not have a definite answer for me. Two  of them shrugged their shoulders. They said they started vaping because they tried it one day their freshman year and never really saw the need to “stop.” The students also answered that the high feeling is considered fun and makes them feel good. “It gets them out of their head and thoughts and feelings.”  This shows how students who vape create a dopamine trap for themselves that makes them linger for more and keep wanting this “high” feeling. Students who experience stress tend to go to vapes to help cope with their stress, not knowing that vapes induce more stress causing students to want to keep going to vapes to “cope.” They then fall into this never ending cycle of vaping. 

This leads to my final point as to whether or not vaping is becoming a new health problem. It is being doubted that this new vaping coping mechanism is actually for fun or a medical issue to escape certain problems teens deal with in life.

According to scientists, “What is not clear is whether vaping causes stress or is used as a coping mechanism by people who are already in a stressful situation. Or maybe it’s a bit of both, trapping the user in a cycle of stress-induced vaping and vaping-induced stress”(Dewan). This proves why vaping may be addictive in teens but also how it is a trap and very unhealthy causing stress to the brain.

 The most important issue in Generation Z is the increasing rate of vaping because most teens believe it is not as harmful as cigarettes, it is addictive, and perceived as “cool.” This issue matters because it’s affecting the lungs of our generation. The consequences of our future if we don’t take this issue seriously is most of our generation’s health being put at risk such as cancer, chronic bronchitis and asthma. To conclude this is overall why I feel Gen Z’s biggest issue is vaping. 


Disclaimer: Titan Times does not in any way promote or encourage the use of vaping at Tuscarora High School.

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