Escape the Vape
by Meghan B. and Hannah S.
Across the country, parents and teachers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the vaping epidemic. As teens become more and more involved in the world of Juuls and dab pens, in which they inhale vaporized nicotine and THC, there are more concerns about the dangers of these substances.
Recently, teens have been sent to hospitals with mysterious lung diseases linked to vaping. As local, state and federal governments debate the value of banning the sale of vapes, Duxbury High School students have mixed opinions about this epidemic. We spoke with sophomores, juniors and seniors about their experiences with vaping.
None of the sophomores interviewed had tried vaping, while 5 out of 6 of the juniors we spoke with had tried. Similarly, the seniors interviewed mostly stopped vaping, although some continued to vape. However, none of the juniors had continued to vape after trying it one or two times. Many suggested simply throwing away the products in an effort to stop, while one proclaimed “just don’t buy more pods,” speaking of the small, individual containers filled with vape juice.
Assistant Principal Mr. Warmington finds vaping to be a huge issue at DHS.
“I definitely think it is a big issue here. In my two years I’ve caught several people in the act of vaping, juuling, etc. Most of them are in the bathroom or locker room.”
As the 4-month ban on the selling of flavored Juuls by Charlie Baker continues on its second month, Duxbury High students grow frustrated with the lack of effectiveness it has shown.
“Banning things just makes kids want it more, and people can get it either way so I would just let people know the health risks and let them make their own decisions,” said one senior, who requested to remain anonymous.
A few of the students had no strong opinions about the ban. One student summed up the general consensus of her table.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” said a junior, who requests to remain anonymous. “They’re still going to use nicotine or tobacco.”
On the other hand, Mr. Warmington thinks that the ban could be a very good thing.
“I truly appreciate the fact that he did that. He thinks that if they put forth a long term plan it will be helpful. I don’t think it’s gonna change anything. People who want to smoke are going to smoke. People who want to drink are going to drink. But it can help.”
He has found that in surveys such as the Youth Behavior Risk Survey, an annual survey to quantify the amount of kids engaging in risky behaviors, around 60% had tried vaping and 40% regularly vape, but that the number was rising continually.
The administration has taken several steps towards limiting the amount of students who vape. There have been parent nights, speakers, student nights with information about the dangers of vaping, and disciplinary actions have been taken.