The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Rising Popularity of E-Cigs

Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus
“Vaping” has recently become very popular among US teens.

Recently, there has been a spike in popularity in the usage of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, among America’s youth.

E-cigs are cigarette shaped devices containing either a nicotine based liquid or a nicotine free liquid.  The e-cig is used to turn the liquid inside into water vapor to be inhaled.  Many refer to e-cigs as “vapes” regarding the vaporization of the liquid inside.

This trend is worrying to many because of how recently e-cigs have been in production.  The first e-cig was developed in China in 2003, but they have not really been popular among teenagers until recently.  According to a 2014 poll by the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2.5 million middle and high school students use e-cigs.  In addition, e-cigs have become more popular than regular cigarettes among teenagers.

The popularity of e-cigs may be surprising to some, given the 18 and over age limit.  However, North Carolina researches conducted a project with teenagers ages 14-17 who were told to order e-cigs online. The children ordered from 95 of the most reputable vendors, and only five orders were turned down due to age.  Availability is one of the main reasons for e-cigs’ popularity among America’s youth.

Another reason for the popularity of e-cigs is the flavored juices.  E-cig juices come in all sorts of flavors which can be appealing to younger kids.

Due to e-cigs being relatively new, not much is known regarding their long term health effects on the human body.  That being said, studies have shown that “vaping” is a much healthier alternative to cigarettes.

A study published by renowned cardiologist, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, proved that smoking e-cigs is 95 percent safer than smoking traditional cigarettes in regard to the aldehyde levels.  Aldehydes are highly reactive organic compounds which can be detrimental to a person’s health if they inhale a large amount.  E-cigs were found to have aldehyde levels between 30 and 250 times less than a traditional cigarette.

An Libertyville senior who wishes to remain anonymous uses e-cigs explained that they are more casual and much safer than cigarettes.

“I’ve tried both [e-cigs and cigarettes],” explained the senior. “Cigarettes were just gross and really hurt my lungs, but e-cigs felt a lot better and are much more casual.”

Despite their being safer than cigarettes, e-cigs are by no means “safe”.  A 2015 study published by the Johns Hopkins school of medicine concluded that e-cigs still contain many of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, and they are harmful to the immune system.

Electronic cigarettes are very useful for former cigarette smokers who are trying to stop the addiction, but this should be their primary use.  The smaller amounts of nicotine in

e-cigs helps to partially satisfy the user’s nicotine addiction by delivering it in small doses.  This was the original use for electronic cigarettes and it should remain that way.

The casual smoking of e-cigs by teenagers could lead to the eventual usage of harsher tobacco products such as chewing tobacco or cigarettes, and they should be avoided by high school students.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Rising Popularity of E-Cigs