Vaping in School

Grayce Juan, Staff Writer

On March 2nd at Cape Elizabeth High School in Maine, a student that remains anonymous had been caught vaping in school more than three times. This student reportedly said that he “can’t stop” which resulted in his principal Mr.Carpenter to ask the school nurse to give him nicotine gum, or a patch to get through the day. Vaping has become more popular over the course of the last two years, becoming a huge epidemic because of how addicting it is.

Not only is this a problem at Cape Elizabeth, it’s also a problem at Westfield High School in Massachusetts. The boys bathrooms at Westfield High on the 3rd and 2nd floor had been closed because male students had been vaping in the bathroom, leaving vapor and a fruity smell left behind.

Students say that the problem started around two years ago when they saw a new generation of easily concealed devices that are not only hidden in school, but in any public place. Since the vapes taste and smell like fruit or mint, it’s possible to vape practically anywhere since it doesn’t give off an unusual scent.

Juul, which is one of the most widely used and known type of vape, has a sleek design;  it looks like a flash drive. Vapes are practically undetectable these days, with their design, and because they don’t give off a lot of smoke that would create a huge cloud. This enables students to vape even in class while a teacher is teaching a lesson.

Juul retails for $30, plus $20 for the pods which is the cartridge filled with the juice that contains nicotine. A pack of cigarettes retails for $10, and a smoker on average usually goes through 4-5 packs a week. Therefore, buying a Juul and the pods to go with it saves the consumer money. Vapes are healthier for your body than cigarettes, and are cheaper, which is why vapes are becoming more and more popular. Although they’re healthier, Sue, a doctor at Dr. Nordstroms practice says “vapes deliver nicotine through a liquid that is heated into vapor and inhaled, cutting out the cancer-causing tar of combustible cigarettes. But, vapes include particular chemicals that can cause something called popcorn lung which over time shrinks your airways.”

 

Jakob Boutet, a senior at WHS said “At the beginning of the year, or even last year, all of the bathrooms were open until vaping increased. Now only one boys bathroom remains open which is all the way on the first floor.”

Ryan Reed, another senior at WHS said, “Going to the bathroom is just a hassle now. I used to walk in before they closed them and see guys vaping all the time.”