Vaping’s popularity is on the rise for today’s high school students

Sarah Withrow , Voices Editor

  Vaping has become more and more normal for Granite Bay teenagers – and the relationship between young adults and this fad only continues to grow stronger.

  Vape juice, or E-juice, is the fluid used in vaporizers that actually creates the vapor that is inhaled into the user’s lungs. Vape juice contains the harmful and addictive nicotine that has become a concern to parents and doctors across the country.

  The health effects of vaping are different for teens than they are for adults because of their still developing brains.

  “Teenage brains, because they are still developing, are actually at a higher risk of becoming addicted or dependent on substances such as nicotine,” said Joyce Lippe, a Kaiser Permanente pediatrician.

  Besides the worrying addictive qualities that accompany vaping, poorly made vapes can malfunction and result in a rare but deadly overdose of nicotine.

  Lippe said a child can be killed by even the smallest amounts of nicotine if consumed directly. Less than half a teaspoon can be potentially deadly to a young adult.

  Critics say the flavor descriptions and cartoon illustrations on the boxes of vape juices are designed with the purpose to intrigue possible buyers. The industry has been criticized for bright colors and sweet flavors that catch the eyes of children in stores.

  Some juice flavors include ice cream cookie milkshake, passion fruit and choco donuts. Galleria Vape and Smoke in Granite Bay reports that fuji apple strawberry nectarine is the most popular flavor in their shop.

  “My favorite flavor is milk and churros,” said a Granite Bay High   junior boy who asked to remain anonymous. “It tastes sweet, and that’s why I like (it).”

  In order to obtain tobacco and vaping products legally, buyers must be 21 years old. How underage teens get their hands on vapes is another concern.

  Two GBHS students said there is one vape shop in the area that will illegally sell to people under 21.

“(Vapes) are very easy to acquire, every student at Granite Bay can get one in less than 10 minutes if they know what they’re doing,” said an anonymous sophomore boy.

  “(Vapes) are very easy to acquire, every student at Granite Bay can get one in less than 10 minutes if they know what they’re doing.

— Anonymous Sophomore Boy

  The need to fit in compels some teens to engage in trends such as vaping and is the fuel that keeps it so popular.

  “Teens vape because they want to be portrayed as cool or fit in with people they know that vape,” said another anonymous sophomore boy.

  Not all students are supportive of vaping, just as doctors, parents and teachers aren’t.

  “Students don’t need to risk their academic careers just for a hit of nicotine at school,” said an anonymous senior girl. “Fourteen to 18 year olds don’t need to get addicted to nicotine at such a young age.”

  Opinions of community members differ, but the bond between teens and vaping is not breaking.

  Health teacher Terry Stafford has noted the rapid growth of the new trend among GBHS teens.

  “Vaping is such a new thing,” Stafford said, “and it has (become) so huge.”