By: Hiba Imad (283)
Vaping is an epidemic among adolescents. Many teens today are found vaping in place of smoking. Unfortunately, the popular justification for using e-cigarettes is the notion of being less harmful than smoking cigarettes. While that may be true, it doesn’t warrant vaping to be safe. Vapes contain nicotine, a substance known for inhabiting tobacco products, causing its user to have an addiction and affecting their brain function. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), using nicotine among adolescents “may also increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs”. In addition, nicotine targets the brain, tricking it into releasing dopamine,a chemical released from the brain that causes satisfaction. As such, this makes it difficult for users to quit vaping, as the addiction to nicotine causes an experience of withdrawing symptoms, making the process painful.
Central is among the many schools that face this issue. Mrs. Coakley, Central’s school nurse, warns about the dangers of nicotine. Yet, while some vapes don’t contain nicotine, others “can irritate and damage the lungs.” This issue is urgent, as there were even “several teen deaths related to vaping.” To tackle the long-going matter, Coakley suggests students “need to commit to quitting,” not just taking this lightly. Several of the side effects include “headaches, feeling cranky or restless, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, and hunger.” In the beginning, these symptoms are most prevalent, as students should ensure these days don’t align with important events. Coakley adds that recognizing triggers is another significant factor. Students should “come up with a plan to avoid them, such as taking a walk or contacting a support person.”
Additionally, vaping doesn’t only affect a student’s health, but also their progress as a whole. If more students continue vaping, the school’s progression will begin to decline. Central is a magnet school, attracting many bright kids from different parts of Philadelphia. The students at Central continue to live up to the standards, setting our high school apart from other schools. As such, teachers are unable to further the education of those who cannot focus in class. This change in students’ attention span, self-control, and concentration will lead to decreased test scores, decreased grades, and decreased scores in standardized tests. Central cannot fulfill their academic expectations with distracted students.
Ultimately, vaping is a serious matter that requires students to understand the negative consequences from using vapes. Nicotine is commonly found in many vapes and triggers the brain into releasing dopamine in the body. Moreover, the addiction to nicotine causes the withdrawal symptoms to become difficult, as students cannot easily quit vaping. Central students are encouraged to seek support to discontinue the use of vapes, as setting up a firm target and recognizing triggers are the first steps to overcoming addiction. Lastly, vaping impacts school progression, where students determine the school’s ranking, with their academic talents.