According to Health Teacher Steve Redes, students do not understand that vaping is dangerous. Even if students are not inhaling nicotine, they are inhaling water droplets and other substances into their lungs. For this generation of students, vaping is replacing smoking because it avoids the smoke and smell of using tobacco. Students can vape in school and in classes without teachers or peers realizing it because the devices are easily concealed and the byproducts of smoking are absent.
Mr. Redes said, “I think you’re in a bad line if you’re heading that way.” He thinks students need to “get smart” and realize that it is a problem “if you need a vape pen to make yourself feel accepted and make yourself look cool because there’s a little cloud of smoke.”
According to Janet Raloff‘s article “Teen Vaping Soars Past Cigarette Use” (April 2016) in Science News for Students, “Most assume vaping is harmless. It is not.” The article explains that the “vapors can harm the lungs, brain, heart and immune system (which helps us resist infections). Emerging data show that these vapors may even harm the male reproductive system. According to Raloff’s article “Vaping May Threaten Brain, Immunity and More” (February 2016), some health risks from vaping almost seem worse than those from smoking. .”
In a blog post on The National Center on Addiction and Health Abuse Family Day website, Director of Health Law and Policy Emily Feinstein warned about the dangers of vaping. She wrote, “Aerosols from these products have been found to contain various toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and ultrafine particles, all of which pose health risks. Although e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoked cigarettes, the common perception that these devices are safe is false: they do pose health risks.”
Program Coordinator for Clinton Youth and Family Services Kelley Edwards stated that there is “too much advertising that vaping is safer than smoking and what is scary is that the molecules that are inhaled when you vape are smaller than those than when you are smoking cigarettes. Therefore, foreign substances get into smaller places in your lungs and the chances of infections or pneumonias are higher.”
Students caught vaping in school get two days of In School Suspension, which is the same penalty for students who smoke cigarettes in school. Connecticut State Law regulates Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems. Sale to persons under the age of 18 is prohibited, and it is illegal for people under the age of 18 to possess Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems.
Interviewed Morgan students felt that vaping was not a big deal. Some students stated that they see people vaping in the bathrooms, the locker rooms, and outside in the parking lot. Out of 172 students, 62.8% of them believe that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes. Of that same group of people, 71.5% of students know of someone who vapes. But only 11% of students said that they themselves vape. 70.3% of students said that they think vaping is harmful.