Don’t juul in school

Increase+in+consequence-+The+School+District+of+Manatee+County+provided+a+graphic+that+shows+a+sharp+increase+in+disciplinary+incidents+directly+related+to+vaping.+The+number+just+seven+years+ago+was+about+an+1%2F8+of+what+it+was+last+year%2C+signifying+the+spike+in+vape+use+by+teens.+%22E-Cigarettes+are+treated+the+same+as+regular+cigarettes+in+terms+of+discipline%2C%22+explained+Dr.+Francis.+Photo+credit%3A+School+District+of+Manatee+County.
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Don’t juul in school

Increase in consequence- The School District of Manatee County provided a graphic that shows a sharp increase in disciplinary incidents directly related to vaping. The number just seven years ago was about an 1/8 of what it was last year, signifying the spike in vape use by teens.

Increase in consequence- The School District of Manatee County provided a graphic that shows a sharp increase in disciplinary incidents directly related to vaping. The number just seven years ago was about an 1/8 of what it was last year, signifying the spike in vape use by teens. "E-Cigarettes are treated the same as regular cigarettes in terms of discipline," explained Dr. Francis. Photo credit: School District of Manatee County.

Increase in consequence- The School District of Manatee County provided a graphic that shows a sharp increase in disciplinary incidents directly related to vaping. The number just seven years ago was about an 1/8 of what it was last year, signifying the spike in vape use by teens. "E-Cigarettes are treated the same as regular cigarettes in terms of discipline," explained Dr. Francis. Photo credit: School District of Manatee County.

Increase in consequence- The School District of Manatee County provided a graphic that shows a sharp increase in disciplinary incidents directly related to vaping. The number just seven years ago was about an 1/8 of what it was last year, signifying the spike in vape use by teens. "E-Cigarettes are treated the same as regular cigarettes in terms of discipline," explained Dr. Francis. Photo credit: School District of Manatee County.

Noah Quillan, Editor-in-chief

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Vaping is one of the most popular bad habits committed by teens in 2019. JUUL, the widely known brand today, contains the highest amount of nicotine throughout the majority of e-cigarette brands. According to JUUL’s website, a single pod contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.

The brand appeals to the teenage market based on a number of factors. The juice pods, which contains the vapor, are available in a large assortment of teen-friendly flavors. Rather than the cigarette taste which many are not a fan of, these pods are available in flavors like banana, mint, or even Crème Brulee. Along with that, the size of the vaporizer is convenient for teens. They are similar to a flash drive, which is something that a student would commonly carry to school with them.

Junior Emily Brannan said that it used to help with stress, though she no longer uses it.

“For me, it was not addictive,” Brannan said. “I didn’t crave it so it wasn’t hard to stop,” she added when explaining how she quit.

Youth in Action- Our campus has an active Drug Free Manatee chapter, where students work to bring more awareness and action towards helping the epidemic. Last year, students laid out their plans on how to help. “We have the brains and ideas,; we just need the resources,” explained Mr. Dunbar, the sponsor.

Studies have started to evolve in recent years, showing some of the short and long term effects that vaping can do to a person’s body and health. On Aug. 22,  17-year-old Tryston Zohfeld was admitted to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. The case was so severe that he was sent to ICU and was put into a medically induced coma.

CBS reported that Dr. Karen Schultz said that she believes the chemicals Zohfeld was inhaling from the vape pen caused his lungs to inflame to a point where they could not exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide anymore. She added that his habit had done enough damage to scar his lungs permanently.

“I did it because everyone was doing it,” explained former vape user Aalyiah Rogers. “It made me sick. My throat would burn,” she said when describing part of the reason why she stopped.

The Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education discovered that the risk for heart attacks is doubled for those who vape. They also expose people to high levels of ultra-fine particles and other chemicals that have previously been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular and lung disease risks.

Web MD shared that there are different chemicals in an assortment of e-cigarettes that are directly linked to cancer, formaldehyde, for example. This chemical is often used in building materials and is an ingredient in antifreeze. Another chemical, found in some of the JUUL pod flavors called diacetyl, can be dangerous when inhaled and has been linked to the lung disease called, “popcorn lung.”

The School District of Manatee County reported that 473 disciplinary cases were from vaping in the 2018-2019 school year. Dr. Francis, an assistant principal, stated that she could recall at least four times last year where the fire alarm was set off due to vaping. The consequence for doing so included a felony criminal charge among other school-specific consequences.

There is a chapter of Drug-Free Manatee on campus, hosted by Mr. Dunbar. Meetings have not yet started but will begin soon, along with activities and awareness put out by the group to better inform students about the dangers of vaping.

“Educate yourself; there is research coming out. Get all of the facts that you can. It’s being presented as being a harm-free alternative to cigarettes. These devices do contain nicotine,” advised Dr. Francis.