Looming Addiction


Mayra Cruz Santiago, Opinion's Editor

  Vaping is very common, about 55 million people vape worldwide. Out of that number, about 2.5 million teens vape in America. That’s a big number, yet not much is being done to lower it.

  I entered High School in 2019 in a small Iowa town called Davenport. At the start, I noticed a huge popularity in my peers’ vaping. You would walk down the hallway and see the clouds of vapor and even more coming from the restrooms. Everyone found this normal and some even found it cool. 

  The school never really did anything to stop this from happening. There are always rules in place, but do they really stop the problem at the root? What schools typically do is punish students caught vaping with an in-school suspension or an out-of-school suspension. How does suspending someone stop them from vaping? 

    The real problem that people overlook is that vaping is addicting. When addiction takes a hold of you, it’s hard to put it down. Some warning signs to look out for are:

  • Inability to stop vaping, even though you know its harmful
  • Urges to vape
  • Intrusive thoughts about wanting to vape
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings for vaping

  When someone is addicted you can’t just say “Just stop, it’s not that hard” or “You know it’s bad for you, stop it.” Because it’s not easy at all.  A lot of teenagers don’t know how to stop.

 Nicotine addiction affects the teenage mind differently. During the teenage years of someone’s life, their brain is developing. When an addictive substance is introduced it can cause major problems for short-term and long-term growth. Some of those problems are:

  • Memory issues
  • Damaged and interfered connections within the brain 
  • Amplified depression
  • Higher levels of Anxiety

If schools really want to help students as well as community members what we need to do is have more support groups. Putting someone in in-school suspension isn’t going to help with their problem. The problem needs to be solved from the root, which is helping out with the addiction that vaping has caused or at least the cause of why the person is doing it.

  “Kids could talk to their counselors here at the school because they are informed,” Phil Cutts said, a dean at Grand Ledge high school. “They can give information to where they can go to get help if they [students] need that.

For more information on this topic here are the articles where the facts were found: