Does LHS Know the Health Risks?


Saige Muresan, Reporter

Lakeviews High School’s Youth Led Prevention group, led by LHS school resource officer Rice, has been working hard to organize a campaign about the health risks of vaping. Over the course of the past couple of years, tobacco and nicotine usage has been on the rise. With the information that was provided by the Trumbull County Health Department, YLP is getting the word out on risks to Lakeview students.

Vaping can be deadly. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that is found in cigarettes and other products. Nicotine can rewire the brain to crave it more and more, and that is mostly because we teens are still developing our brains. Having a nicotine addiction during adolescence can have long-term effects. Some of these effects are increased impulsivity, mood disorder, and harm to the way synapses are formed, which are the parts of the brain that control learning and attention.

There are many different chemicals in nicotine that can be harmful to your lungs, such as vapes containing diacetyl, which when inhaled could lead to irreversible obstructive lung disease. Developing a lung disease could make it hard to breathe permanently, and teens could develop at a young age a health problem that can plague them for the rest of their life.  Vapes also contain formaldehyde and acrolein, which are the same chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke. Lastly, they contain microscopic metal particles such as lead, tin, and nickel and can be inhaled deep into the lungs, which is not good for anyone, especially still growing teens.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published literature warning teens of the long term effects of using tobacco products, “Documentation has shown that tobacco companies have a long history of developing and marketing flavored tobacco products as ‘starter’ products that attract kids.”

The FDA information shows how these companies try to attract youthful customers. Youth is where the most trouble we have with this problem today. Colorful packaging makes them look like candy and many can think they are harmless. One of the main reasons young people are so addicted is because of stress. Once teens have tried it maybe a couple of times, they start using it more and more frequently to feel temporary relief.

Around 2017 there were more than 15,000 flavors available for the world to use and many of the flavors appeal to teens and thus contribute to the rise of vaping. The FDA reports that in the past month, 72.3% of tobacco users have used flavored tobacco products. These flavors can reduce the harsh taste of the chemicals in this product and make the product taste like a delicious, sugary treat. Most companies will focus their flavored products on 84% fruit flavored or 80% on candy and dessert flavors.

Lakeview sophomore William Bullock said he knew little about the risks of vaping or how many flavors there were.

Bullock said, “ I think that there are at least 60 to a max 120. I had no idea about all those risks of vaping and how bad it could have gotten.”

There are about 25 million teens in the United States. The FDA estimates that within those 25 million, 8.7 million teens are at risk for experimenting with cigarettes as of 2018. However, 10.7 million teens are at risk for even using e-cigarettes. More than 1 million teens use these products daily. Little do these teens know that one JUUL has about as much nicotine as 20 packs of cigarettes.

With all these risks, more the half of teens don’t know how much impact vaping can have on them. Everyone needs to be more aware of the risks they are taking just because they wanted temporary relief. These long-lasting effects or any effects  are no good for anybody at all. Lots of people are unaware of these risks and more people need to know.

Former Lakeview student Brianne Davis was also surprised to learn the vaping facts. Davis said, “I knew that there was risk involved with vaping but I did not know they were as bad or even worse than smoking.”

This shows just how many people understand the risk of vaping. More than anything, Lakeview students and all teens need to understand how damaging these products can be to their future health. Youth Led Prevention group is just trying to make the risk known and the things that can happen when you don’t know the risk.