Vaping: A National Response
By: Rebeccah Fleischmann
The recent ban of e-cigarettes in Boulder, San Francisco, and other places in the US will not stop kids from using substances that are bad for their health as teenagers, by nature, are defiant and if adults tell them to stop vaping, it may even push them to do it more. Teens will find a way to get e-cigarettes, whether online through the black market or through peers.
Governments, schools and parents are worried about e-cigarettes’ rise in use among high school students, which has increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 20.8% in 2018 according to a 2018 CDC report. The recent popularity presents a valid cause for concern.
As a teenager, I have witnessed first-hand how commonly vaping products are used among my peers. I have seen teens use them in the bathrooms in the handicap stall, and in public places among their friends. And although I suppose that their reasons for using vary from peer pressure to the thrill of getting high, it is evident that most teens have a common belief that vaping is not that bad for them. By placing bans on e-cigarettes, teens will only want them more and feel more drawn to do what they are not supposed to.
The way to approach vaping is to educate kids, rather than to solely ban it without any educational discussion. If kids are educated about the research behind vaping’s negative effects, shown some pictures of its impact on one’s lungs, and understand that it is dangerous, then we will see the number of teens using decrease. But, this decrease in the amount of kids vaping will not come from banning vaping alone.