What You Should Know About Vaping and Teens

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What You Should Know About Vaping and Teens

Dylan Ramos, Reporter

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The Washington Post and The New York Times have recently been covering a string of stories about the spike of sudden vape and THC-oil induced illnesses and their cause from smokers across the country. 

The stories warn of newly discovered possible side effects in the use of vape products that affect the lungs. Since vaping is a relatively new trend, not much is known by the public on the effects these products can have on people and local communities.

What we’re seeing is a rise in the use and distribution of vape products in young adults and teenagers, and since the integration of drugs like cannabis into the vape delivery system, an unregulated and unchecked market for these drugs run by street-dealers. 

Being the legalization of medical and recreational use of marijuana in the state of California already, adults get to leave these shady street-dealers behind, and teens are left at the top of their customers list.

This is problematic because the convenience of these products attract teens curious and eager for psychoactive experience.

 Recently, I interviewed a few students about why they think so many teens are gravitating towards vaping. Michael Peters, a senior at ERHS, had this to say; “In movies and TV and stuff… they always make it look cool and make it seem like a stress reliever…”

 A recent  ERHS graduate and ex-vaper told me, young adults and teens can get into vaping psychoactives“Cause it’s absurdly convenient and discrete… You don’t have to worry about loud flower(marijuana) smell… “

Another boy, a senior at ERHS, gave a similar explanation- since vaping offers a highly inconspicuous and even stylish way to get high, most teens wouldn’t think twice about taking it up over smoking. 

What these teens don’t know is they’re in for a shock at the effects these drugs can have on their health later on. But what kind of effects?

Unregulated drug markets come in first place in products jeopardizing the public’s health. Frankly, the overwhelming majority of street dealers, being unregulated and so relieved of accountability, don’t think for the welfare and health of their customers. 

As such, to increase the supply of products, sellers will willingly taint and combine substances into their products, while keeping them off the list of ingredients on their boxes, so buyers think they’re getting the real deal.

That’s not the only threat vape oils have on your health. THC percentages in vape cartridges range from 40% to as high as 90% compared  to the average 20% of plant-form marijuana. In other words, it’s really strong stuff.

That high of an amount taken consistently over mid to long periods of time takes its toll on the cognitive functions of developing brains. For more information on the side effects of cannabis product visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website for detailed descriptions of studies on the drug and their findings.