Vaping for Clout Epidemic | Teen Ink

Vaping for Clout Epidemic

April 25, 2019
By Kolin54 BRONZE, Moorpark, California
Kolin54 BRONZE, Moorpark, California
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

A Plague Among the Youth

Students ignore all the warnings and continue vaping

Vaping may be the greatest idiom to ever exist. Schools have spent hundreds of dollars in preventive measures such as flyers and posters to be hung around the campus. Teachers cannot stress the negative effects enough, teenagers all know the harm it does, but yet, teens still seem to ignore that all in order to get a nicotine high. Juul, Suorin and Breezy have all created the greatest adult pacifier in the world. The only thing is, they’re not being used by adults.

The only logical thing that can explain why vaping is still such a big thing can be summarized in one word, clout. Kids see everyone around them vaping and feel the need to vape as well to fit in. With this epidemic spreading through the school, the administration is scrambling to find ways to stop it. Kevin Buchanan, a high school principal, describes the school’s tactic on vaping, stating, “ We're being as active as we can to keep vaping off campus to give kids a chance to kick the habit.” On the high school campus, 86% of those asked said that they knew someone who vaped, of those same students, 78% of them claimed to have seen someone vape on campus. One method of deterring students by the school is anti-vaping posters in classrooms and in the bathrooms, which is a hot spot for teen vaping on campus. Buchanan stated when asked about the posters, “I don't believe that my posters have much of an impact even though I but I try to find good ones and compelling ones and I put them in the bathroom and I put them in the various places.”

This epidemic is not only a thing amongst high schoolers, kids are starting as young as middle school. The Medea Creek Middle School administration has been trying their best to limit teen vaping in and of out of school through the same methods employed at the high school. When faced with case after case of a student being caught for vaping, the middle school principal, Brad Benioff is faced with a dilemma, “And suddenly like, I don’t know what to do.” When asked randomly, 74% of students claimed to know someone who vapes, and of those same students asked, 65% claimed to have seen someone vape on campus.

But, if the age to buy tobacco products has been raised from 18 to 21 in the state of California, then how are kids getting access to these products. The answer is local shops who sell to underage teens. Kevin Buchanan has approached local smoke and vape shops in the area and threatened to report them if he finds out that they are selling to underage teens. Buchanan reiterated the main point of how easy it is for teens to get vape devices when he stated, “I don't think any kid has any problem getting anything. It’s freely available.” Not only is it freely available, but it’s also affordable for the average no-income teenager. These products range from $19.99 to $44.99. Overall, the accessibility and the cheap price of the devices is one of the main contributing factors to this teen vaping epidemic.

When busted for vaping, it’s not always an immediate suspension, the school says it takes measures to mitigate the issue and focus on helping the student instead of direct punishment. Mr. Buchanan emphasized the empathy in the school’s policy of providing counseling and offering a drug contract for teens caught vaping on campus. But, in the end, Buchanan reaffirmed the school’s stance on vaping offenses, firmly saying, “I still believe in the deterrent value of the discipline.”

So when faced with an outbreak of teens vaping in high school and in the middle school, and a new market for this black market drug, schools are still left to wonder, What can be done to stop this plague?

With 78% of High School students and 65% of students in Middle School seeing someone vape on campus, the facts stare us straight in the face. What is being done now is not enough, not effective, and not stopping kids from taking a hit.

The author's comments:

We did research in an attempt to truly help these kids stop vaping. It hurts us to see people get addicted to these horrible substances so early in their lives.


This article has 1 comment.

pavenora said...
on Mar. 4 at 2:41 pm
pavenora, Nyc, New York
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this article. Vaping has truly become an epidemic, and we must stop big tobacco companies from targeting teenagers and young adults. I work for Parents Against Vaping and e-Cigarettes (PAVe), a national organization that works to educate people about the harms of vaping and e-cigarettes. PAVe also advocates to pass legislation banning these devices and the predatory practices of tobacco advertising.

We would love to speak with you about your experiences and stories about vaping. Do you have some time next week to talk?

Thank you so much for all the work you are doing,

Nora Ripley-Grant
PAVe Advocate