Students pose mixed reactions towards risks regarding vaping


by Matthew Levine
Cristina Martins, a Health Educator from Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, gave a presentation to the freshmen class on Monday Nov. 5 regarding vaping and its many health risks.
Martins travels around the state presenting about the major health risks and dangers of smoking and the use of e-cigarettes.
Students had mixed reactions about the use of e-cigarettes and its health risks. A general consensus from students following the assembly was that they found the points valuable, however, some took it more seriously than others.
“I thought it was a very good assembly and it got some very valuable points across, but being someone who vapes, the assembly is not going to make me stop,” an anonymous student said.
For many of the students who Juul, the reason is “just because”. The “why” they began to vape includes the flavors, or the social status. Some students are willing to take the possible health risks in stride later in life.
“I guess I’m just going to have to find out…’Why risk it now?’ There’s honestly no answer, just because,” the anonymous student added.
While some students didn’t listen to the information, freshman student Audrey Gabbai had a different outlook.
“It is equivalent to smoking and maybe even worse,” Gabbai said. “Even though they say that juuling isn’t bad, it’s like a cigarette, as it was proved.”
The use of e-cigarettes with teens is on an epidemic level, and as Martins notes, there are many other health risks besides nicotine addiction.
“Manufacturers will claim that the other three main products (propylene-glycol, glycerin, and food coloring) are safe because they are found in food products like candy, but with e-cigarettes we are inhaling these ingredients going directly into our lungs, and then what?” Martins said.
A Harvard study also found that 75% of e-liquids contain diacetyl, which is linked to the respiratory condition, popcorn lung, according to Martins.
In the packaging of a Juul, there are four pods. One pod is equivalent to one package of 20 cigarettes. The guideline to becoming addicted, is approximately 100 cigarettes Martins noted. Depending on the consumption, users can become addicted quickly. For long-time users, juuling is a daily routine.
“In the beginning I just did it because I wanted to try it, and then I liked the buzz,” another anonymous student said. “Now, I am low-key addicted.”
According to the Truth Initiative, 63% of users between the ages of 15-24 are not aware of nicotine in Juul pods. In August, the FDA forced all E-Cigarette manufacturers to note nicotine content on their packaging. The Food and Drug Administration also announced on Thursday Nov. 8 that they are banning the sale of e-cigarettes in retail stores and gas stations nationwide, also forcing e-cigarette companies to institute age-verifications for online sales.
On Tuesday Nov. 13, Juul announced that they will stop the sales of e-cigarette flavors in stores also ending social media promotion according to the New York Times.