Illustration by Tristan Ing

On-campus vaping witnesses record highs

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The presence of vape pens has become an increasingly significant problem on campus, raising concerns about not only the well-being of students who are vaping, but also the overall well-being of the school population. 

Intake of the aerosol that vapes create poses an extreme threat to a person’s health, as it compromises multiple systems in the human body and a person’s mental health. Nicotine, the primary ingredient of vapes, has been known to slow brain development and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood. Given its addictive nature, vapes pave the way for increased risk of addiction to substances like alcohol and drugs. This makes finding a way to dramatically reduce the amount of vaping activity on campus all the more crucial, given the repercussions it can have on students’ academic performance and rationale in their actions. 

It is abundantly clear that the use of harmful substances is punishable by suspension for the first offense and expulsion for any number of offenses that follow, forcing students who vape to find discreet locations, or what is perceived as a discreet location, to do so. Restrooms have become major hotspots for vaping activity, as there are times where one can find entire groups of students involved. This not only intimidates students who simply wish to use the restroom, but it also places one in a degree of danger from secondhand vaping, which is similar to secondhand smoking, and their peers who may not be thinking clearly because of the vape. 

Some, if not most, would say that a complete crackdown of vaping on campus is not realistic, given the immense size of the student population and the campus. As a result, the school’s administration has resorted to dedicating part of the expectations presentation to the dangers of vaping, which does not accomplish much in removing vapes from the school environment. To dissuade vaping, the school should increase campus security around restrooms, given that they smell like the vapes’ flavorings. The lack of action taken against the use of vapes has essentially turned its distribution into an illegal side hustle on school grounds; calling for stricter enforcement of school board regulations on the issue of vaping is the only solution toward a vape-free campus.

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