By: Hailey Fitch
Vaping is everywhere, from the movies we watch, to the songs we listen to, and the social media apps we scroll through all day; there’s just no escaping this reality. Even with this harsh truth, there should be places that are safe from this vaping epidemic, right?
We would like to hope that there are certain places where we can get away from all this vaping nonsense, but for middle and high school students, it may be even harder. The phenomenon has spread into schools within our state and across the country.
As I sat in the office of my internship earlier this year, my intern leader, Gayle Nutile-Pimm, and I were in the process of finding a topic for the next Wellness article. After drafting through as many ideas as we could think of, a light bulb went off, and the idea for this very article was formed. We began asking questions to ourselves. Why are teens vaping? How many teens at our school are vaping? Do they understand the dangers? We came to the conclusion that these were not at all questions we could answer on our own. I sent out a survey to the entirety of the high school students, to get a general idea on some vaping statistics of our student climate.
Among the 120 students who completed my survey:
24.2% said they have/do vape.
22.5% said they haven’t/don’t vape.
53.3% said they know someone who has/does vape.
These numbers may not seem staggering but they show that there is a vaping presence through our student climate. However, there is one statistic I feel holds a stronger impact on our school as a whole.
44.5% of students surveyed believe vaping isn’t dangerous.
This number means that almost half of the students surveyed feel that vaping isn’t bad, even with 63.3% saying that they have been taught the risks. That regardless of the teaching that has been done, almost half our surveyed students don’t see a problem with the straight inhalation of nicotine into their bodies.
After collecting a general consensus from my survey, I contacted a group of students that had completed it and that were willing to be interviewed, and received some interesting information.
One student I interviewed told me that they weren’t even fazed by the vaping and that they only used when they are bored. However, they also told me they had once gotten into trouble for this and had seen first hand life impacts, even though they only use it in times of boredom.
Another student I interviewed told me that they were first introduced to vaping from a coworker, showing that vaping is everywhere, even in the workplace.
A third student told me that they get all their information from the internet and their friends, which are heavily influenced by vaping through social media.
Through all of my interviews, surveys, and days of research, I have come to one conclusion. Teenagers are just a sad victim in this ruthless world run by social media and the internet. Vaping is very dangerous, and hopefully this article and future articles will show that there really are students that are being pushed along a dangerous path and will encourage people to ponder the choices they are really making.
For more information on vaping, check out this article: http://iacs.getsh101.com/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-vaping/
If you have any questions or comments regarding this article please feel free to reach out to me, Hailey Fitch at [email protected] .