The fastest growing teen epidemic is also the most illogical

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To my knowledge, I do not think that I have ever witnessed, been aware of, or seen photo evidence of someone under the age of twenty smoking a cigarette. The reason for this is easily identifiable. Since we were young children, it has been ingrained into us that smoking is bad.

We all know that smoking makes your teeth yellow and your breath intolerable. We all know that smoking causes cancer. We all know that a plethora of horrendous chemicals are packed into each stick.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of smokers has declined by nearly 7% from 2005 to 2017, and the rate of smokers that are quitting has increased as well. All signs point to the fact that my generation may truly be the one to end smoking. If this is true, then why have we simultaneously become the generation that supports the vaping industry?

Why have we simultaneously become the generation that supports the vaping industry?”

For some strange reason, the sleeker, reusable e-cigarettes have become norms of high school. A baffling number of students around the world expose themselves to this danger, and the percent who partake is only increasing. According to another CDC study, a staggering 20.1% of high schoolers vaped regularly in 2018.

Regardless of the fact that they too contain addictive nicotine and other harmful chemicals, the number of high school students who have vaped is astronomical. I know many of my peers have and are unafraid to admit the fact either.

It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to overhear someone talking about vaping in the hallways or see a teenager juuling in their car as I drive to the store. Not only has it become commonplace, but it has even become “cool.” It feels trendy to be up to date on the latest e-cigarette device or to be aware of the lastest Juul pod flavors.

Because the phenomenon of vaping is so new in the grand scheme of things, not much long term research has become available. However, when we know that one juul pod contains just as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes, how are people willing to ignore the impending truth?

When cigarettes or tobacco pipes even were first becoming popular, people back then didn’t know the dangers. Thanks to time and advancements in medicine, we have since learned the repercussions. With all these facts readily available, how has my generation missed the memo and begun to make the same mistake?

The problem is obvious: vaping is bad. The solution is simple: refrain from smoking harmful drugs.

The true puzzle is that people just either can’t or aren’t willing to understand this.

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