Why Teens Vape

Why Teens Vape

There’s a new epidemic in the United States: vaping. We hear about the negatives to vaping, but what most people don’t know about is the struggling teen behind the epidemic.

Many addicted high school students with depression and anxiety disorders are being plagued with peer pressure, among other things, leading them into the desire for the cigarette alternatives.

In an effort to better understand why teens choose to vape, we surveyed 174 anonymous RHS students. 19.5% of those surveyed students shared that they do vape. A few of them also shared how it helps them cope with mental health issues.

“Vaping fills the void that anxiety creates. With anxiety and stress, you feel as if you have no friends and people don’t like you and that creates a soul-crushing hole in you. Vaping gives us that good feeling back that helps us relax and take a deep breath. The nicotine takes my mind off things for a while and allows me to think clearly about the situation and find the best solution,” said one anonymous student.

The survey also questioned teens’ motivation behind vaping. A common answer found among teenagers was peer pressure.

“Peer pressure 100 percent. It was probably early freshman year when I started. There was a lot of curiosity involved too.”

“. . . I feel like anyone that I know that does it is literally just trying to be cool, and I feel like without peer pressure or trying to act like someone your [sic] not is getting everyone in high school into vaping.”

Despite their reasons for taking on vaping, research is starting to show its effect on vapers’ health.

“September of 2019 saw a rash of nearly 500 cases of respiratory illness linked to vaping throughout the US,” according to Medicinenet.com. There have also been 12 teens who have died due to vaping.

With this rise of illnesses, many teenagers are becoming more aware of the situation, but is it changing their minds?

“Yes I am aware of the negatives, and I try to keep myself well informed in the news and updates on vaping . . . that dictates where I head in the future.”

Research shows that vapes do indeed have dangerous chemicals in them.

“One chemical in some e-cigarette flavorings is a buttery-flavored one called diacetyl. It’s been linked to a serious lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. It’s also known as popcorn lung… The chemical can cause a dry cough that won’t go away. It also causes shortness of breath, wheezing, headache, fever, aches, and other health problems. The vapors also can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, and throat,” according to webmd.com.

Despite the research, one student shared that they do not feel any effect.

“I feel no physical effects on the sports I play or anything. Also, mentally, if there is any effects I haven’t felt them.”

The bottom line is that we know teens vape. Just be safe. Look at the facts, read the news. Know what you’re putting in your body. Vaping could not only hurt you but it could affect your friends and loved ones just as much. Think beyond you the next time you vape.