Vaping is linked to illness, death

Vaping and e-cigarettes may seem like harmless alternatives to smoking, but as of late, the effects are coming into view. As of September 26, 12 people have died from causes linked to vaping, and 805 cases of lung illnesses have been reported in 46 states. Because  the outbreak and the resulting deaths are so recent, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is still unsure what  caused these outbreaks, but some vaping industry insiders believe that the homemade cartridges are the cause of these problems.

However, the CEO of Juul Labs stepped down and announced that they will withdraw all advertisements for their company. The FDA has accused Juul Labs of falsely claiming that their e-cigarettes are healthier and safer than smoking.

The Trump Administration has spoken of banning flavored e-cigarettes, and Walmart has stopped selling their products. After 90 were hospitalized in California, health officials urged users to quit vaping immediately.

It is clear that the problem may not be caused by homemade cartridges or carts purchased from the street.

To understand how this problem affects our community, we surveyed students at LOHS. 66.7 percent of those we surveyed said that they do not vape, but they know people who do, while 21.2 percent of those we surveyed said that they do vape and have friends who do.

Most of the responses we received said that they began vaping because of friends or siblings, and that they began around freshman or sophomore year. 33.3 percent of respondents who vape said they are actively quitting. The remaining respondents who vape said that they plan on quitting in the future or that they do not do it often enough to consider it a problem.

So, what has the school been doing about these risks? A CDC release  included with information about vaping and talking to your child in a recent issue of the principal’s newsletter.

The Pilot states that students possessing or using tobacco products may be subject to suspension, along with students carrying vape pens or e-cigarettes. The punishment for these are up to 10 days of suspension or expulsion.

If you do vape and you begin to feel symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, coughing, and a fever that lasts longer than a few hours, seek medical attention.