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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Be smart and stop vaping

Photo+credit%3A+Jaden+Edison
By
Photo credit: Jaden Edison

Society has reached the detrimental point of risking it all for a puff of watermelon-flavored vapor. Electronic cigarettes are a professionally photoshopped version of cigarettes that have managed to convince the world they were harmless. Students should not succumb to the e-cigarette craze but instead turn to more proactive passions, like saving the environment, voting or literally anything else.
College is the place where people experience their first taste of real independence. Rationality is often forgotten in the adventure promised to bring the best years of someone’s life. Unfortunately, a good time in college often equates to some sort of experimental substance use and/or pressure to participate. E-cigarettes have taken the reigns. It is a rare day to walk around campus and not see at least one person fogging up a walkway or classroom with vapor.
To clear any misconceptions, e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices typically shaped like a pen or rod that dispense nicotine when inhaled. College students have a hectic, overwhelming lifestyle, and nicotine is a stimulant and sedative that relaxes the body. The two combined make an ideal pairing, but so did Romeo and Juliet. Look how that turned out.
E-cigarette users often defend their addiction and deny any harming agents in the product, yet the FDA has reported various alarming findings from the past years. Where e-cigarette cartridges are marketed as “tobacco-free,” the FDA discovered a toxic compound found in antifreeze that has been proven to cause cancer. Additionally, formaldehyde, a chemical used in building materials, was found in a study that analyzed liquid pods.
Although no concrete research has confirmed a correlation between e-cigarette use and cancer, society should not wait comfortably for that day to come. A seventh person has died in 2019, and over 380 lung illnesses have been reported with vaping-related causes. Vaping is dangerous and there is no doubt about it.
The Trump administration has moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes due to recent deaths and mysterious lung illness reports. Completely removing the product from production is impossible at this point, but thankfully the notion is being challenged. The ban has caught worldwide attention. India has banned e-cigarette products and JUUL sales have halted in China. The topic of health regarding e-cigarettes has gained national awareness and that should be enough of a warning, yet people continue to indulge.
JUUL has only been in the industry for two years, yet the company boasts more than 70% of the U.S. e-cigarette market. JUUL products have significantly altered several businesses and competitors and created an uprising. However, it has been proven a large percentage of its consumers are underage. JUUL removed flavors earlier this year in hopes of losing its younger audience because imagining a whole new generation addicted to nicotine was worse than losing millions.
The permanent damage caused by sucking on e-cigarettes is terrifying. “Popcorn lung,” formally known as bronchitis obliterans, is a condition that scars lung tissue and causes thickening and narrowing of the airways. The nickname makes it sound like an obnoxious joke, but it is very real and irreversible. There is no cure for this severe lung damage, only methods to control the symptoms.
Trying to dignify vaping by saying is it immensely less dangerous than smoking cigarettes is a hilarious sentiment, but means nothing when there is research proving otherwise. In fact, the modern vapes—including JUULs—make it possible to inhale nicotine faster than regular cigarettes. Smoking is smoking, regardless of which product is aiding the habit. It only took several deaths across the country for society to finally understand e-cigarettes can be just as harmful as traditional smoking.
Realistically, there is no real enforcement regarding the abolishment of e-cigarettes. Scientists and reports can only share and publicize the dangers accompanying the habit. College students are so easily persuaded to step outside of their comfort zones and follow the crowd, but when it comes to e-cigarettes, resistance is key.
Don’t add to the kids that end up on the news because of mysterious lung illnesses. Put the JUUL down.
Laura Nunez is an advertising junior
 

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