You see it everywhere you go– a college kid is frantically searching their pockets for the small and narrow device that brings them the quick relief of nicotine. Other times it’s someone stepping away from the group of people they’re with for a cigarette break.
Nicotine and tobacco has claimed popularity with college students throughout the years, but that doesn’t mean it should be utilized to its fullest potential.
One thing connected to vaping is the accessibility of it. There’s always someone who has a vape on them and is usually willing to let others take a hit or two off the vape.
In its inception, vaping was created to wean smokers off of their addiction by giving them an alternative that gives them the nicotine, without the other harmful substances that can hurt people’s lungs.
As time went on, this gave off a sense that these vapes were actually healthier than smoking tobacco, therefore it must be okay to smoke them.
Generation Z has lived almost their entire life without smoking indoors, and followed a steep decline of smoking after Minnesota passed the “Freedom to Breathe” act in 2007. Gen Z is also more afraid of smoking in general, a result which is most likely a result of seemingly endless campaigns growing up about the horrors of smoking cigarettes.
So with the downfall of cigarettes leaves a power vacuum for another addicting substance to take over the hearts and minds of the youth.
Enter the vape.
Pairing a sense of safety with smooth and nice flavors, the vape is the perfect way for a young person to get hooked.
The Minnesota Department of Public Health states that around 19 percent of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days. 70 percent of those students are reported to show signs of dependency.
As a high schooler, it can be extremely easy to fall into the trap of vaping. Social pressure, people who sneak a vape to school are seen as “risky” and “cool”.
Because it is not allowed in high school is what makes it fun.
But we are in college. No one cares if you vape. You don’t look cool vaping, you just look sad.
Where at one point in our lives, vaping held the mystique of being prohibited, now, as adults, we have to face the consequences of becoming dependent at a young age.
The price tag attached to nicotine is also something to consider. As college students, we have other things to worry about, like paying off tuition, instead of making sure we have enough nicotine pods to get us through the weekend.
At this point, the vaping trend is the cringiest thing that young people do to try and feel cool. So lay off the JUUL, and do something else that is better for you.