Popularity Alarming after illnesses and deaths from vaping

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Popularity Alarming after illnesses and deaths from vaping

JBLETV

JBLETV

JBLETV

Abi Baldwin, Editor-in-Chief

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It’s become deathly clear after recent events on campus and around the country that what was once seen as a healthier alternative to cigarettes has become a major health concern for teens across the nation.
Teens today are more likely to fall into nicotine addiction due to vaping, which is detrimental to their mental and physical health. With the increased popularity of vaping, high school students are more susceptible to falling prey to the risks of e-cigarettes.

One student recently ended up in the emergency room after using a dab pen, a type of vape. The student woke up, not knowing where they were or why they on the floor with APs hovering above.
“We still haven’t found the vape from the incident,” said Officer White.
Across the country, teens have died from respiratory and lung issues linked to the vape devices.
Days before the campus incident occurred the Center for Disease Control issued a statement on vaping, saying that the number of reported cases of severe lung illness due to vaping has risen to 1,080, jumping 275 cases in just one week, the death toll hitting 18.

“Tomball ISD, as always, will continue to educate our students, staff and community on the dangerous effects due to vaping,” said Martha Salazar-Zamora, Tomball ISD superintendent.
In fact, the district kicks off a new anti-vaping campaign next week, with instruction and discussions during advisory periods.
The modern e-cigarette was invented in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik. Since e-cigarettes were first sold in 2004 their global use has risen exponentially.  Smoking and cigarettes were on a slow decline – it was thought that this generation would be the last to see chain-smokers – but all this changed with the rise of modern vaping devices.
“An electronic cigarette is still a cigarette,” said pulmonologist Dr. Philip Pirtle. “Back when cigarettes first became popular in the 1940s it was until the 1960s did we really see all the damage it was causing, and I’m afraid that is going to happen with [vapes].”

Vaping has now become the latest trend and greatest health risk of the time, popping up everywhere on social media and in public. Though companies swear their marketing is for adults, vapes usually end up in the hands of teenagers.
“Seventy-five percent of my customers come in wanting to stop smoking but a lot can’t so they do the whining process to slowly stop smoking…the larger younger customers do it just for fun,” said David Borella, who is the co-owner of K&D Vape. “Usually [teenagers] go for the [vapes] without nicotine but recently with the smaller devices, like Juul, kids have come in to try to get a higher nicotine level vape.”

Within six months of vaping about a third of teenagers move to normal cigarettes because of their addiction to nicotine, and this is profoundly damaging and harmful to their health.

This resulted in new rules at schools, making the punishment for having an e-cigarette, at least parts of one, the same as being caught with a cigarette. If a student is caught with an e-cigarette one option for punishment is to attend an alternative school, and if a student hated “Character Strong” here they will surely despise it at the alternative school.
There is little to no health regulations for vapes, especially ones bought illegally by a minor.  It wasn’t until recently did the FDA start regulating e-cigarettes in which they took away majority flavors, leaving methanol and the normal taste of tobacco. Theoretically, vape could be “safe” but without regulation, any chemicals could be placed in the cartridge. Fillers found include arsenic, pesticides, and anything that a dealer can get their hands on. They can also contain an illegal chemical, THC. It is not regulated nor safe  and generally found in DAB pens.

“What the girl had given me was a dab pen, when I woke up in the hospital they found 92% THC in my blood,” said the student from the campus incident. “I almost died.”

When human tissue is exposed to vape condensate the number of working cells drastically drops and when nicotine is added the numbers decreases even more. It also impairs the ability of cells to engulf bacteria, allergens, and other things that attack the body. This results in a weaker defense against infection and inflammation, symptoms can range from shortness of breath to fever and abdominal pain.

In a case study two years ago, Professor Ilona Jaspers of UNC School of Medicine studied the effects of vaping on genes. When people smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense in the nose were altered. Several of these changes increase the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. Jaspers’ lab found that vaping alters the same genes affected during cigarette smoking and hundreds of other genes important for immune defense.

“Some of the effects [from vaping] are the same as a normal cigarette. [It] can make your blood pressure go up, cause strokes, or heart attacks…vapers from device also have cancer-causing agents,” Pirtle said.

Another possible complication from vaping is popcorn lung. The vape uses the chemical diacetyl, and it is the same chemical used in microwave popcorn that gives its buttery flavor.

“In the 80’s people who worked in the plants that were making this popcorn would develop this horrible lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans airway inflammatory response that causes a great deal of damage to the lung and it leads to symptoms similar to emphysema or COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It can be treated but it can never be reversed.  The damage that is done to the airways is pretty dramatic and it can be crippling or even lethal.” Pirtle explained.

There is little to no health regulations for vapes, especially ones bought illegally by a minor.  It wasn’t until recently did the FDA start regulating e-cigarettes in which they took away many flavors, leaving methanol and the normal taste of tobacco. Theoretically, vape could be “safe” but without regulation, any chemicals could be placed in the cartridge. Fillers found include arsenic, pesticides, and anything that a dealer can get their hands on. They can also contain an illegal chemical, THC. It is not regulated nor safe and often found in DAB pens.

Overall vaping shouldn’t be considered “safe”, damage can still be done to your health no matter if they contain nicotine or tobacco-like normal combustion cigarettes.

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