Lies Behind The Smoke


Contributed by Janel Pluta

Camryn Mottl, Feature Editor

Just say no.
A phrase usually given to students who are choosing to conform to peer pressure and smoke their first cigarette, or to say no. As of late, statistics have shown that the percentages of teenagers smoking cigarettes has declined since 2011. For middle schoolers, the Center of Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) has shown a 2% decrease in 2015. As for high schoolers, only 9.3% smoke cigarettes, reduced to 15.8% in 2011. But, it seems that cigarettes have a new upgrade to be called e-cigarettes, which has become a new trend in the younger generation.
According to CDC, since 2011, there has been an increase in handling e-cigs. For middle school students, in 2015, percentage rates went from a mere 0.6% to 5.3% in four years. As for high school students, they have gone from a 1.5% jump to 16.0% since the last survey, meaning 16 out of every 100 students are using these chemical devices.
The primary use of E-vapes is to help smokers stop smoking. They are battery powered, and have been said to be less life threatening than the tobacco held in cigarettes. With new upgrades, e-vapes have options of different scents and smells, such as cookie dough. Some come with no scent at all, but they still give its inhaler the same effect as a regular cigarette. What students don’t know is that e-vapes can be just as harmful as regular cigarettes.
E-vapes are filled with harmful chemicals such as nicotine, a fume that is put into tobacco for cigarettes. It doesn’t matter if a nicotine-free e-vape been chosen, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found traces of nicotine, despite what marketers say. E-cig producers put in other unknown chemicals that are made with antifreeze and other poisoning drugs. Smoking, whether from cigarettes or e-cigs, is an issue among teenagers today. While the inhalation of cigarettes has declined, e-vapes are on the rise, making it more important for the younger generation to know how harmful they can be. E-cigarettes are no better than regular cigarettes, and the students need to be aware of it, before they too are caught in peer pressure and addiction for the rest of their life.