Students trying to quit: the aftermath of vaping deaths

After 34 reported deaths linked to vaping, students are starting to drop the habit

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The recent warnings about the health risks of vaping have convinced some New Trier students to quit. Several students, who asked to remain anonymous, said they quit for many reasons, including the health effects, impact on academics, and cost.

“I quit [at] the beginning of August,” one student said. “I started to feel the side effects. I used to run with ease, and when I went for a run, my chest felt tighter. I didn’t want to live with the long-term side effects.”

“I started freshman year, and I think it was a mix of doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing along with caring what people thought of me. Then, it turned into something I did,” said another student. 

While long-term effects of vaping are not yet completely understood, medical reports show correlations between vaping and serious lung injuries. As of last week, the CDC had reported 34 deaths and 1,604 lung-injury cases due to the usage of e-cigarettes and vaping products. 

These reports have helped spur students to quit vaping.

“I quit vaping because of the stories of the hospitalizations, but the main reason was because I thought about how stupid it was. I was vaping for a ten-second buzz that would go away and ruin my lungs,” a student said.

Some students have taken a public stance against vaping. California teen Simah Herman, went viral with an anti-vaping campaign photo urging users to quit. 

Herman, as well as other students across the country, have shared their stories on social media regarding their negative experiences with vaping. 

At New Trier, health classes teach the side-effects of e-cigarettes and posters against vaping can be found throughout the school.

Some New Trier students said they succumbed to vaping due to peer pressure. A junior who asked to remain anonymous said, “I started vaping because I thought it was cool and that I would fit in better. A lot of my friends also did it, so I felt pressured.”

The recent hospitalizations has prompted students to quit. Users may not be aware of the ingredients they are inhaling because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require manufacturers to list every ingredient. 

This results in users inhaling potentially harmful chemicals that may lead to long-term side effects. Nicotine, for instance, is an active ingredient in vaporizers, that “raises your blood pressure and spikes adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and likelihood of having a heart attack,” according to Hopkins Medicine.

Students have reported a major difference in their lives after they quit.

“Vaping took a lot of time out of my life. For example, during school, I would go to the bathroom during class to do it and I’d stop my homework to hit my Juul. I would also go to smoke shops to get more vaporizers and it cost a lot. I’m saving so much money ever since I’ve stopped.”

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