Vaping cases on the rise


Vaping Tank

The country is facing a new epidemic as the use of vaping is rapidly increasing.

A recent study by hospitals in Massachusetts and San Francisco found that adolescents are starting to vape at a younger age (14.5) and using vapes more frequently, often first thing when they wake up. 

The trend has been noticed at MHS as well.

“The number of students caught smoking a vape in the bathrooms is on the rise,” Assistant Principal James Stamper said. “Tobacco companies were nearly defeated until they came up with the e-cigarette as a way to “hook” people at a young age to become smokers. Years ago we were seeing a drop in nicotine use and smoking.  On average, between 5 and 20 students a year were suspended for possession or use of nicotine or marijuana in school.  Already, this school year, that number is close to 70.” 

According to Mr. Stamper, a student who is caught vaping with or without nicotine will be suspended three days for the first offense, five days for the second and will be sent to the alternative program for the third offense.

However, a student who is caught smoking or in possession of marijuana or a vape containing THC will be suspended 10 days, pending expulsion.
The administration has a responsibility to educate our students on the heal risks and dangers of breathing in the harmful chemicals for vaping products,” Mr. Stamper said. “The irreversible (can’t be cured) lung damage, lung disease and in some cases… death that can result is alarming.” 
Mr. Stamper said various clubs and organizations are collaborating to put together educational scripts, videos, guest speakers and homeroom activities aimed to promote awareness and education on the dangers of vaping.
“In reality, our students must be leaders at MHS to stop this epidemic,” he said.
A recent homeroom showed students some of the dangers of vaping, including exploding vape pens that can maim and disfigure users.
CNA teacher Angelique Todd, a registered nurse, warns that vaping causes serious damage to the body.

“Vaping has many negative effects on the body, including long-term complications with your heart and lungs,” she explained. “Studies have shown that vaping causes the release of adrenaline which elevates blood pressure and heart rate. In a healthy dose adrenaline can be a good thing but when released excessively causes damage. This damage to vital organs can cause heart attacks, respiratory disorders and other deadly diseases.”

Todd added that the  Surgeon General suggests that long-term effects of vaping include mood disorders, addiction and permanent loss of impulse control. 

She urges those struggling with vaping to get help from a health professional.

“I believe that vaping has become so prominent because of its addictive nature and social acceptance,” Ms. Todd said. “Once you start, it’s hard to stop.”

She believes that prevention by educating younger groups is crucial.

 “In order to lower its popularity, we need to bring awareness to the lasting effects of its consequences, as well as create a safe, judgment-free environment for those that struggle with addiction to get help,” Ms. Todd said.

Mr. Stamper agrees and said it must be a continuous effort.

“The dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping are real, and we must keep fighting the tobacco industry,” he said. “99% of e-cigarettes sold in the U.S. contain nicotine, the same highly addictive drug found in regular cigarettes,” he said. “We want our Pirate students to be educated, develop healthy habits in life to be successful and respect themselves, their bodies, and their environment.”