In high school, 9 out of 10 students run into some type of smoking by the age of 18. On average, 20% of high school students vape, and on average, 8% smoke cigarettes. If the rate of youth smoking continues in this country, 5.6 million teens under 18 will die early from a smoking related illness. Vaping has become more popular over the years and scientist don’t fully know the effect it has on teens. There have been fewer deaths from vaping than cigarettes, but vaping has not been around as long. At first, people thought vaping was safe, but deaths related to vaping are increasing.
The first person who came up with the idea of the electric cigarette was Joseph Robinson in 1927; however, Herbert Gilbert made a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette which made vaping popular. A Chinese man named Hon Lik made the first modern e-cig in the mid 2000s. When Juul came out in 2017, it made it easier for teens to vape because they are small and discreet. Kids are now vaping in bathrooms at school and on school buses and a lot of them are getting in trouble or even suspended.
Since vaping has not been around as long as cigarettes, there is not much research for health risk. Lately there have been many deaths associated with vaping and teens need to realize that they are slowly killing themselves. Many kids do not look into what is in the oil for vaping and what it could do to them, and many don’t care but it is very unsafe. There are many harmful chemicals in vapes, and cigarettes have even more, and at least 69 of the chemicals are known to cause some type of cancer. Cigarettes are linked to 80-90% of deaths from lung cancer in the United States (www.cdc.gov).
Vaping is used for adults who smoke cigarettes and are trying to stop, but in teens, it’s reversed: Vaping leads them to smoke cigarettes. Only 5% of high school students think that they will continue smoking after high school, and the others believe they will stop, but they don’t understand how addictive nicotine is and how hard it is to stop. Research shows that after 8 years, 75% of those teens that smoke will continue smoking some sort of tobacco. Smoking also causes kids to lose focus in class because they are thinking about smoking another cigarette rather than thinking about doing their work.
Once a kid gets addicted to smoking, it is very hard to quit completely. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that it takes at least 8-11 attempts to stop smoking before you actually stop. The reason it’s so hard to quit smoking is because nicotine is very addictive, reportedly as addictive as cocaine or heroin. When you smoke a cigarette, it releases dopamine which makes it pleasurable to use, and when you quit you have a deficiency of dopamine release which causes dysphoria: You feel anxious or depressed. Another reason it’s hard to quit would be due to the withdrawal symptoms: Irritability, anxiety, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. The withdrawal symptoms lead to the person wanting to smoke to feel better. Overall, teens need to stay away from vaping and cigarettes because they’re killing people everyday and they’re hard to quit.