Anya Sloth


“Make the switch”, ”Healthier and better”, ”Small got mightier”.

These slogans are from real vaping companies. Vapor products (more commonly known as vapes) were originally designed for smokers who wanted a “healthier” alternative. Since smoking was known to cause cancer due to all the heavy toxins in cigarettes, a man by the name of Hon Lik invented a vapor that delivered THC and nicotine into the user’s bloodstream. Vaping gained popularity with the younger generation, and it has become a huge problem in schools. It is also popular among my generation because it comes in “fun” flavors, such as cotton candy, sour patch kids and even gummy bear. While some of the aspects of vaping might seem like a better alternative, it is still very dangerous.

Vaping can still damage lungs and other organs. Metals such as lead and nickel can sometimes leak from the heating coils into the aerosol while it’s being heated, and then is inhaled by the user. Over periods of time, the user can experience symptoms of metal poisoning which can include chills, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea.

Vaping can also cause lipoid pneumonia. Unlike regular pneumonia, which is caused by an infection, lipoid pneumonia is caused by the buildup of fat in the lungs over time. “Popcorn lung” is another hazardous side effect of vaping. It is essentially a serious form of bronchitis that develops over time from vaping. This condition got its name because sometimes individuals got it after breathing in the popcorn flavoring from microwave popcorn. Now, studies have shown that some of the chemicals in vapes may lead to popcorn lung, as well.

According to, one in seven students vapes or uses e-cigarette products. At our school, it seems that the bathrooms are the most popular spot to vape. At least twice a week, I will walk into the bathroom and there will be a thick haze in the air from all of the exhaled vapors. In the handicapped stall, I will see three to five pairs of feet — and that’s when I realize, maybe I don’t have to go to the bathroom that bad anymore. What’s unfortunate is that some of the bathrooms are now locked during certain times of the day. Usually there’s only one bathroom open at lunch. During the school day, sometimes there is only one bathroom open as well, which is a problem because of the time that it takes to find an open bathroom. Even if the majority of the school doesn’t vape, the bathrooms are locked because of the people who do.

I know that this issue will be ongoing until education can be more powerful than the company’s advertising. Vaping companies offer scholarships, and sometimes they even sponsor music concerts. Clever marketing strategies require clever education tactics to combat the pull towards the products.

One unit during health class that most people take in 9th or 10th grade, isn’t enough. I believe that we should have speakers and presentations done at our school. I believe that if my school saw the consequences of what happened to someone after they vaped for five or more years, they would then be much less likely to pick up their vape. I am hoping that with this column and the hundreds of others that have already been written, maybe someone will read it and decide that vaping isn’t for them. There are other activities that one could be doing, rather than spending money on a product that could have the potential to cause serious harm.

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