Dark Clouds

Vaping at Our School

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Dark Clouds

These are just a few of the vapes that students are introduced to.

These are just a few of the vapes that students are introduced to.

These are just a few of the vapes that students are introduced to.

These are just a few of the vapes that students are introduced to.

Amira Klokic, Senior Editor

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As the clock hits 2:40 and students rush out, a group of them gather by a car in front of the high school, a cloud of smoke drifting into the air already. These students are getting sucked into Juuling and vaping, the new trend that is dragging students down with it.

 According to an article in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch from last week, two students have recently been treated at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital for shortness of breath, fever, cough, nausea, etcetera that are all vaping related. At HHS, compared to the beginning of the year last year, there are ten more counts of students being caught for vaping.

Some students interviewed asked to be kept anonymous due to the serious topic. An HHS senior girl said, “[The new research hasn’t affected or scared me] because those kids were smoking eight pods a day, and I don’t vape nearly as much as that.” 

While doing it moderately, only once or twice a day, students believe that this isn’t going to affect them, but it does, just not as much as people who do it so often. 

“At least with cigarettes it’s expected and you can prepare yourself, but these vapes,” Mr. Veldhuisen said. “Some of these respiratory issues happen within 30 days!”

With all of these possible health risks that come with vaping, the administration is putting together a program for students that are put in ISS for vaping. The program will consist of videos and articles that discuss the risks and dangers that students, and anyone who vapes, is putting themselves into. Students will need to complete the educational program everytime that they are in ISS in order for them to truly understand the risks they’re putting themselves into.

Yet, students are finding themselves drawn to vaping because so many people around them are doing it. They see that there are risks, and with all of the advertisement that is done, they don’t think it is that alarming.

“75% of our students Juul or have Juuled. It’s been normalised, which is bad, but it’s a recurrence. In past years, schools have been known to have certain smoking places, aka the bathrooms. It’s a rush that students chase to obtain. If not in the bathrooms, then it’ll be done indiscreetly in classes or during passing time when everything’s chaos,” said Dario Sajic(12).

This has become an epidemic that is sweeping over all high schools in the nation. Students are taking the risk because of the gain that they get. Although staff and faculty don’t understand why students do it, students I have interviewed say otherwise.

“It’s a high. It’s different from other drugs, but it’s still the high that you get from it,” a junior girl said. 

Furthermore, these juuls are a way for students to get this nicotine high without being so obviously affected and it’s easier to do in schools. 

When asking why students don’t use dab pens, a device that looks like a pen which has THC in it that people can smoke, many said that dab pens were more dangerous because of the ingredients used, but many of those same ingredients are used in juul pods.

The flavored Juul pods have agents in them that may cause “popcorn lungs”,  a respiratory problem that damages the lung airways, which should scare students, especially athletes.

This past year, a new rule came in that limits the amount of games per season that students play if they get caught Juuling. Athletes reported that it’s affected how much they are vaping these days, but they still do it. 

“Honestly, I can see a little bit of change in my speed, and I get tired really fast, but it can also be that I’m out of shape,” said a senior athlete. 

Students are going to do whatever they want to do, the only thing that faculty and administration can do is educate them. Although this is the epidemic now, there is always going to be a new drug that students get hooked on and it’ll continue this vicious cycle.