Too many becoming a “nicoteen”


The Mirror reporter

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, the use of e-cigarettes among teens has become an epidemic.

E-cigarettes were created to help cigarette smokers quit smoking. They provide a less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes. The problem is many teens have seen vaping as a new cool product to try.

According to the FDA, e-cigarette use has risen from 1.5 percent to 11.7 percent of high school students from 2011 to 2017. That’s an increase of 10.2 percent in just six years.

For these reasons, Assistant Principal Brigitta Altmann-Austin believes teens should not start vaping. To prevent teens from vaping she and the other assistant principals are trying to educate both students and parents.

On Nov. 12 Stevens Point Area Senior High is hosting parent-teacher conferences. During which parents can hear from an expert on vaping.

A reason for this could be the flavors associated with e-cigarettes. In a 2013-2014 survey, 81 percent of teens specified flavors as their reason for vaping. Companies such as Juul, a leading e-cigarette producer, stated they try to stay away from fruity or sweet flavors. But Juul still offers flavors such as Mango, Fruit Medley, and Crème.

Flavors may be the reason for teens to start vaping but they continue vaping because they become addicted to the nicotine. There are about 200 puffs in a Juul pod which is the equivalent of smoking a 20 pack of cigarettes worth of nicotine.

Currently, there are no known long-term effects from vaping, however, that is because they are too new, not that there are no long-term effects.

Some public health concerns are with the vape juices because they are, so far, not regulated. Some known chemicals are acrylonitrile, acrolein, and propylene. These chemicals are known to cause or put people at a higher risk of lung diseases.

Another health concern is people inhaling the vapor. Only oxygen is supposed to go into a person’s lungs. However, people who vape are inhaling the vaporized vape juice, which can lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs.