More Punishment Needed for Vapers


David Burnett, Staff Writer

The aroma of peach, oasis, mint,and  strawberry invade our nostrils every time we head to P.E. or walk into the bathroom.

Hundreds of teens all over Utah and at Highland vape constantly at school, without a worry in the world about the consequences. Highland should increase the consequences for students who are caught vaping on school premises.

Highland should increase the punishments for people who vape during school because it is illegal, but more importantly, it is deadly. Vaping is even worse than smoking. Many teens do not think that vaping is harmful because the sweet flavors cloud the reality.

The new JUULs and vape pens that have been released these past few months now contain the chemical THC. THC is a stimulant drug that releases dopamine and other endorphins into the user’s brain. This chemical can be highly addictive. THC is the main component of marijuana that gives you a “high”.

Many JUULs have nicotine in them, which is another highly addictive drug that can cause people to try more serious drugs like heroin. Nicotine causes slow brain development, loss of memory and concentration.

Schools have become much more worried about vaping after the 805 vaping-related lung injuries and illnesses in the past year in 46 states. In the final week of September, 27 deaths were caused by vaping, a product designed to target youth. Out of all the vaping-related illnesses, over 55 percent of them involve people under 21.

Utah, along with Alabama and Alaska, has their legal vaping age set at 19, almost no student at Highland meets that requirement.

“The use of these products is not only creating a whole new generation of young people who are addicted to nicotine and will spend the rest of their life buying nicotine in one form or another … it’s reducing all the kind of gains we’ve made during the ’90s and the 2000s getting youth not to take up smoking,” Dr. James Sargent from the School of Medicine at Dartmouth said.

When I am at lunch, at least 3 times a week I go in a bathroom and there are 3-5 students who are just in there vaping when they should be in class. Vaping distracts many students at Highland from their schoolwork because they are addicted to either the nicotine, or THC in the vape.

Second, vaping has been proved to be harmful. However, secondhand vaping is not quite as harmful as secondhand smoking because the person is not inhaling smoke. But, since many JUULS contain THC and nicotine, the vapor that is being blown out contains remnants of those chemicals, putting students who don’t even vape in danger.

Vaping is sometimes so addictive that the students can’t wait for the class to end and they must leave the class just so they can relieve their urge and finally “take a hit”.

Researchers found that students who vape are more likely to have a lower GPA than students who do not vape. This is due to the fact that students leave class or miss the class completely because they want to vape, and because the chemicals in vapes affect your concentration and learning ability.

Students believe that there are no consequences to vaping in school.

“I am not scared to vape or anything like that in school because I’ve never heard of someone getting in trouble,” one Highland student admitted.

This is exactly why the rules and consequences need to be changed so that these students will not think that it is acceptable to vape in the bathroom, classroom, or anywhere. If the consequences are raised or become stricter, this would be for the students own good because vaping is causing illness and even death.