Effects of Vaping on Students



By Armando Medina, Staff Writer


      Vaping has become an epidemic for schools as of late, surging in popularity and causing issues for students all across the globe. 


When Did Vaping Get Popular In Schools?  

    According to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) “Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youth | Smoking & Tobacco Use”, the vaping epidemic started in schools around 2011 to 2015 when the use of E-Cigarettes skyrocketed by 900% during that timeframe. Between 2015 and 2017 vaping rates declined but once again rose by 78% in 2018 to 2019.  Vaping as a whole has been on a steady rise in popularity in schools for many years. 


Main Causes of Student Vaping 

   Students can be introduced to E-Cigarettes through many different outlets. They can be introduced through ads on tv shows or websites or exposed to it by family members. Sophomore Nikola Gutierrez said, “I first started to show interest in vaping when my brother used one near me.  The interesting smells caught my attention and once he started doing smoke rings, I wanted to try for myself.”  According to the CDC, the companies that create these E-Cigarettes seem to target adolescents with trendy and sweet flavors. 


How Many Students Vape By Average? 

    According to the CDC, the increase in the use of E-Cigarettes has led to an average of 1 in 20 middle school students smoking and an average of 1 in 5 high school students. The boom of the E-Cigarette market has led to a grand total of 3.6 million rising number of students using them in the US alone. 


How Could Vaping Affect Your Body? 

    Many teens have been led to believe that vaping is a healthy alternative to smoking actual cigarettes. But in reality E-Cigarretes contain the same harmful chemical that make cigarettes as hopelessly addictive as they are. According to the CDC, vapes and E-Cigarettes all carry nicotine in their aerosol pods. Using any products that carry nicotine in them can lead to harmful effects on children with developing bodies, such as learning deficiencies, memory loss and deteriorating attention spans.  


How Can Vaping Affect Academics 

   According to the CDC, e-cigarettes affect academics by impairing the development of the prefrontal cortex of an adolescent. The reason that this could negatively affect a student is that this region of the brain is linked to attention span, memory retention and learning in general. Starting to smoke any kind of nicotine will severely hamper growth in a teen’s brain. Senior Julian Gonzalez, said “My grades already weren’t the best when I started to vape, but after one month, I started to notice that they were worse than usual.” 


Is Vaping a Gateway Drug? 

    Gateway drugs are drugs that are easy to access and slowly build a user’s tolerance leading them to escalate to more dangerous drugs. Vape pens and E-Cigarettes are very easy to come by because they are available online to anyone with enough money to pay for them. They also come in many flavors that are easy to get kids hooked on. According to the CDC, 1/3 of all middle and high school students in the US that have used a E-Cigarette have escalated to smoking marijuana in those very same vape pens.  


How Can Vaping Be Mitigated in Schools? 

    According to the CDC, steps need to be taken in schools to mitigate vaping such as installing vapor or smoke detectors in strategic locations such as bathrooms or underneath stairwells. The best option for schools would be to educate their students on the effects of vaping and smoking in general. Teaching students before they start smoking and eventually building dependencies on the nicotine in the vape pens can stamp out this vaping epidemic that we are currently in.