Within The Walls

Maggie Dickey

There’s an old saying that monsters don’t always lurk in the shadows, sometimes they hide in plain sight.  That seems to be the case with the growing trend among teens, vaping.  What is vaping? Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by an e-cigarette or similar device, and it has become quite a problem among teenagers.  However, many parents and educators are unaware of how great a problem vaping among teens has become. Why? Vaping it is not easy to detect. Unlike an actual tobacco cigarette that burns and produces smoke, an e-cigarette only produces vapor, and therefore has little smell.  Another reason e-cigarettes may go undiscovered is because they don’t usually look like a real cigarette. Instead, most of the time, they resemble a pen or a USB Flash Drive.


Although vaping is not a new thing, it has quickly grown in the last five years among high school students.  In fact, the Surgeon General reports that 1 in 5 high school students admitted to vaping in the past month. Also, vaping is now more popular among teens than adults. Why does vaping appeal so strongly to teens?  Experts believe there are three reasons e-cigarettes may be so enticing to young people. First, many teens believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Second, e-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes. Last, vape cartridges often have  flavorings such as apple pie and watermelon that appeal to teens.


So is vaping REALLY inside the walls of our local schools?  If you think the answer is no, well think again. It is not only within the school walls, but it’s being used in the classrooms, bathrooms, and on the busses!  This poses several dangers, not just for the person vaping, but for others being exposed. For example, people who would never have smoked are taking up the habit because of their peers.  Also, studies are showing that there are health dangers in being exposed to second-hand vape. Lastly, e-cigarettes, particularly JUULs, have been found in schools where small children found or were exposed to them.  So what can be done? Students, parents and educators need to be educated about the dangers and the signs of vaping and stop the problem within the walls of the schools.