Vaping: A Call For Action
More Than Bad, Vaping Is Addicting A New Generation: A Call For Community Action
Since February, the Friday Night Live Tuolumne Summerville Bears Campus Action Group has been working to inform the public about the real truths and dangers that occur from vaping.
To figure out what young adults currently believed about vaping and how it affects our community, we went to the most direct source we could find: local high school students. So, we administered a poll at Summerville High School, to which we received 116 student responses (which constitutes a 27 percent response rate) and we uncovered several startling statistics.
One of, if not the most, alarming results from our poll is that 4 out of 5 Summerville High students believe that vaping is a big issue at our high school. This sets a horrible precedent for our community and nation, as the youth, our nation’s future, admit that vaping is a big issue. An individual who starts vaping while young is creating a disastrous habit that can follow them and simultaneously destroy their body.
Our poll also determined that more than half the students indicated they thought vaping was harmless (that vaping was water vapor) or they were unsure if vaping was harmful. The lack of information about vaping high schoolers currently have and what they do not know is extremely shocking and alarming, and in addition to the statistic above, 15 percent of high school students said they were unsure if vaping could be as addictive as smoking cigarettes.
Also, for the roughly 1 in 10 students that did admit to vaping, over half vape to socialize and de-stress. Ironically, recent research findings show that there is a direct link between worsening mental health and vaping. In an effort to help themselves, students who decide to vape are simply making themselves feel worse with increased symptoms of anxiety and depression, and mental health issues that high schoolers already struggle with regardless of vaping.
Vaping Wreaks Mental AND Physical Mayhem
Besides the impact that vaping has on many students’ mental health, there are many physical health effects that come from vaping.
First, actual vaping devices and vape materials themselves contain trace toxic materials that are sucked into the body with each inhalation. Along with the risk of breathing in toxic materials and metals, devastating bodily health risks from vaping include but are not limited to: irreversible brain damage, attention or learning problems, a weakened immune system (especially dangerous given that we are still in a global health pandemic), and possible blood vessel damage.
To make matters worse, the popularity of vaping isn’t going away.
In fact, vaping is nationally and locally on the rise, and big corporations are only getting better at preying on today’s middle schoolers and high schoolers with their manipulative marketing and product development tactics.
One of the most successful tactics they have used thus far is introducing flavored vape “juice,” using various candy and fruit flavors to lure the youth of today into creating a devastating lifelong habit.
While vaping might seem like it is becoming too deeply entrenched to do anything about it, it is not too late for our community members to take a stand and take the first step in limiting the spread of vaping, especially in youth!
What You Can Do To Keep Youth From Getting Hooked
Simply vote YES on your November 2022 Ballot in support of the California Flavored Tobacco Products Ban Referendum to uphold SB 743, passed by a bipartisan majority of state legislators to ban the sale of flavored vapes from the tobacco industry.
In addition, if you or someone you know struggles with vaping, please consider tapping support resources that can help people who already vape to quit such as those at kickitCA.org.
Whenever possible, please help our community in our effort to stop the spread of vaping by spreading the word! Change starts with YOU. For more information on the hazards of vaping, our outreach campaign and quitting resources click here.
Thank you in advance for your time and whatever you can do to support this community-wide call to action!
– The FNL Tuolumne Summerville High School Bears Campus Action Group,
Written by Anna Hildebrand with contributions from Alissa DeAnda, Audrey Patey, Grey Hildebrand, and Valerie Harris