Schools nationwide are wrestling with a vaping epidemic among their students. Teenagers camouflage vapes in numerous, innovative ways, such as in sleeves of sweatshirts or in their shoes. Some indulge in vaping in school bathrooms and other areas where their activity can be concealed, and the sale of vapes sometimes takes place directly on school grounds. It is not legal for minors to purchase vaping kits, but our tutors have observed that these laws have not stopped the problem from escalating in certain school districts. Vapes are small, sleek devices about the size of a USB drive that discharge a thin vapor that usually contains nicotine, chemicals and flavoring.
Four School Systems Suing Juul
There are currently four school systems that have filed suit against Juul, an e-cigarette company that sells the aforementioned vaping kits and flavored nicotine products. The suit alleges that Juul targeted youths in marketing campaigns, which lead to an epidemic that has now drained time and resources from educators as they grapple with how to help students who are now dependent or hooked on vaping.
The suit was filed on October 7th by La Conner School District in northern Seattle. The District Superintendent, Whitney Meissner, stated she is tired of corporations that simply want to generate money at the expense of children. The other three districts involved in the lawsuit against Juul are Francis Howell School District in Missouri,Three Village Central School District in New York and Olathe Public Schools in Kansas.
Vaping Death Toll Rises
Lung injuries from vaping have now crossed the threshold of 1000 as officials strive to control outbreaks of mysterious deaths and illnesses associated with this activity. Over a thousand people have become ill and at least 21 deaths have been linked to vaping. However, our tutors have noted that most cases of death involved individuals vaping the active ingredient in marijuana, THC.
On October 8th, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo reported that a 17-year-old youth from the Bronx had passed away from an illness related to vaping. He was the first teen and youngest victim to suffer death from this activity.
Although the primary focus of investigators is black-market THC products as the source of vaping illnesses, numerous states want to prohibit or decrease the activity altogether by banning the sale of vaping kits. Many pediatricians are concerned about vaping because not much is known about its long-term effects and some doctors have reported seeing disturbing symptoms in teenagers struggling with nicotine addiction.
Vaping Use Rises Among Teenagers Despite Statistics
Even as alarming facts are gathered by officials and physicians, statistics indicate that vaping rates have risen among teenagers. Approximately one in nine high school seniors admit to vaping nicotine about once a day and 25% admit to vaping at least once a month.
Some youths believe that there is no danger in vaping because this activity is different from smoking traditional cigarettes. Jordan Roberts, the manager of a smoking prevention program for youths has stated that many teenagers are under the impression that vaping is harmless. Roberts works for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and says he believes that teenagers frequently fall in line with their peers and think that vaping is something they must do in order to “be cool.”
Juul declined to comment about the lawsuits, but has defended its products in the past, stating that they were developed to assist adults who wanted to quit smoking. Our tutors have learned that Juul has closed its social media accounts and shutdown sales of flavored products to retailers in an attempt to curb teen use.