E-Cigarettes Should Be E-Legal

Ryan Shintani, Staff Writer

Did you know that over 2,000 vaping-related lung injuries and more than 45 deaths have been reported in the United States in 2019?! Cigarette smoking has declined over the past 10 years, but at the same time, research has found that vaping has increased. This is true in both the adult and young populations. Vaping is a large problem especially among young kids and teens in our country. One particular reason why it has become a problem is that advertisements for e-cigarettes are aimed at the younger generation. This is a problem that needs to be checked in schools and in general. Something needs to be done to stop vaping from spreading among kids and teens and to completely stop it in this age group before it becomes a bigger problem. 


Some people may believe that vaping isn’t that concerning since the percentage of people that do it seems small. However, statistics show that the number of people who vape has increased by 34 million in the past 7 years. In 2011, about 7 million people were reported to vape. By 2018, that number grew to 41 million people. If this rate continues, by 2025 there could be 75 million people vaping. In the younger population, the numbers are also growing. In 2017, 2.1. million middle or high school students vaped. By 2018 the number of students that vaped increased by about 1.5 million to 3.6 million. The growing numbers show that vaping is becoming popular among kids so it is important to stop this as soon as possible before the numbers get even bigger and more kids suffer more from the health problems vaping causes.

There are multiple reasons why people start vaping. According to the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, among students who used e-cigarettes, the most common reason someone started vaping was that a friend or family member used them. This accounted for 39 percent of people who began vaping. Many people (31 percent) also start vaping because of the availability of flavors, such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate, which tempts them to try the different flavors. The last reason people start vaping is the belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other forms of tobacco, such as cigarettes.

About 17.1 percent of people believe this and the advertisements for e-cigarettes do make them appear fun and harmless. Vaping is often quoted as being safer than smoking. Most people don’t know but vaping is as addictive as smoking a tobacco cigarette because the amount of nicotine in an e-cigarette is equal to the amount of nicotine in a pack of 20 cigarettes. For those who are not familiar with nicotine, it’s a very dangerous chemical. As stated in the article The Vaping Crisis by Joe Bubar, “Nicotine can damage your brain, specifically the parts that control your mood, learning, and attention span, says Thomas Ylioja of National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. Plus, nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Once you’re hooked, your brain wants more, ‘even at the risk of your own health,’ says Ylioja, an expert in helping people quit smoking.” Kids like Piper Johnson know from experience that vaping is not safe – she wound up having to go to the emergency room due to lung injuries from vaping for three years. Since quitting, she has tried to make other kids and teens aware of the dangers of vaping.

In addition, as noted on the site truthintiative.org, “other reasons that young people use e-cigarettes is that they are easier to get than other tobacco products, they cost less, and they are allowed in places where cigarettes and other tobacco products are prohibited. Some students also reported that they used e-cigarettes to try to quit using other tobacco products, or because famous people on TV or in movies use them.”

Vaping was invented about 15 years ago which means that there is not enough research that has been done to study all the long-term effects of vaping. What researchers do know is that vaping companies are aiming their ads at young people. As noted, they do this by making the flavors fruity, or flavors that are similar to popular cereals that a child might have heard of like Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit Loops, Lifesavers, Rice Krispies Treats, Macaron flavors and so much more. There is a rising number of young people who have started vaping because they think it must be safe if it smells fruity or looks like candy or cereal. Then, they become addicted once they start. Some lawmakers have been trying to discourage vaping by banning the fruit-flavored vapes that have been most popular among teens.

Vaping has become a popular habit in adults and teens in the past few years. Although there is limited research about e-cigarettes and their effects, everyone understands that the nicotine they contain is dangerous. Those who have tried it say it is addictive and causes health problems. The way it is packaged makes it more dangerous for kids because they think it’s safe which leads to them trying it. These are the reasons that vaping has become such a problem and why it is important to stop the sales of e-cigarettes among kids.