Each day, somewhere in the United States, the new stories report on vaping-related respiratory illnesses and deaths that plague the population. Francis Howell School District filed a lawsuit, Oct. 3 against the vape company Juul.
As reported by Riverfront Times, Clayton-based attorney Cindy Ormsby said, “In the two school years running from 2015 to 2017, the district recorded 113 tobacco infractions. In 2018 alone, that number hit 270. The 2019 school year may top that, as the number now stands at 248”.
As of 2019, the CDC reports 1,080 cases of vaping-related illness and 18 confirmed deaths. Regardless of these statistics, adults and teens continue to do it.
“I think teens should be able to feel like they are able to seek help so they can stop. I’m just scared for my fellow classmates well being,” senior Lucy Morey said.
Senior Ethan Van Schalkwyk regularly sees large groups of underclassmen hanging out in school bathrooms vaping during class and passing periods.
“Younger students are drawn to vaping because they want to fit in with the older kids who are doing it. I see them doing it and it makes me see that upperclassmen need to be setting a better example for them, ” Van Schalkwyk said.
Harmful additives that are in vape juices include metals like lead, zinc, and nickel. Chemicals such as acrolein and formaldehyde can be found as well.
“Continually battering students with the facts and consequences of vaping isn’t going to change anything because they need to want to stop themselves before listening to other people,” senior Porter Umphlett said.
History teacher Carl Wayne thinks that a different approach must be taken to ensure the problem is diminished before it has a chance to snowball out of control.
“You can’t stop vaping because there’s no possible way to watch all students 24/7, so because of this you have to be able to teach kids the negative side effects and hopefully stop it before it starts,” Wayne said.
The consequences that come with vaping in school are three days ISS for getting caught while doing it or a Saturday detention for being in possession of any paraphernalia.