Vaping Affecting the Nation

Indy Khaitan, Staff Writer

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As of Oct. 2, the CDC has confirmed more than 1000 lung injury cases and 18 deaths in the U.S. involving e-cigarette use. Sixty four percent of cases involve young adults aged 18-34.

 

While the specific chemical cause of the vaping related epidemic is unknown, recent investigations have led to the belief that THC, the high inducing chemical found in marijauna, is playing a role in the outbreak. 

 

Since as early as July, police departments throughout the Midwest have been investigating a large scale black market of vaping products containing THC. 

 

Officials in Illinois, Wisconsin, and the CDC say that prefilled THC vaping cartridges, such as “Dank Vapes” and other illicit brands, are often mislabeled, counterfeit, and potentially very harmful.

 

According to The New York Times, about 77% of patients suffering from e-cigarette related lung infections reported using vapes containing THC, and 57% reported using vapes containing nicotine. However, most patients reported using both THC and nicotine vapes.

 

While the FDA and CDC are in the process of  investigating, the specific chemicals that are causing vaping related lung injuries remain unknown, as no single substance has been linked to the outbreak. It is also unclear whether the lung injuries caused by vaping are a result of a specific containment or long term use. 

 

As vaping is a significant issue in high schools across the nation, the administration at SB has been working to help reduce the number of vaping incidents at the school. According to Principal Timothy Flynn, E-hall pass is one implementation that is designed with student accountability and safety in mind.  

 

“In my perspective, it’s not about consequences but about getting help for people who are addicted to a very powerful drug,” Mr. Flynn said. “The number one reason for this pass is safety,” 

 

E-Hallpass has allowed for administrators to run and collect data on how many students leave the classroom at any given time, how long they’re gone, and where they’re going. Each day, about 800 students receive a pass. 

 

“Stone Bridge kids are the most respectful, mature, and highly educated students, and we are going to do everything to support that,” Mr. Flynn said. 

 

As e-cigarette use has been on the rise, LCPS has passed new policies and consequences regarding vaping in schools. If students are caught possessing vaping products on school property, they may be subject to suspension.

 

 The county’s priority is to inform parents and students of the dangers associated with vaping in hopes of reducing its presence in schools. 

 

According to studies conducted by The National Institute of Drug Abuse, 9.5% of eighth graders worldwide use vapes. LCPS has launched programs to inform students of the dangers associated with vaping as early as sixth grade. 

 

While the CDC and FDA are continuing investigations, they recommend e-cigarette users to try to stop using vapes and to see a healthcare professional if any symptoms arise.