EDITORIAL: Young adults find pleasure in unsafe and illegal activity

NOTE: A member of the Introduction to Journalism class wrote this editorial as a class assignment. Editorials are not signed.

High schoolers and young adults are finding themselves enjoying an activity that could damage their life.
For the past several years, vaping products have become popular for people for all ages. While the legal age is 18, high schoolers are finding ways to get their hands on vapes. The website truthinitiative.org describes the effects of vaping. We at the Stampede, believe serious matters should be taken to stop the vape epidemic that’s affecting high schoolers and young adults.
Some people believe vaping is a safer activity than smoking real cigarettes. While studies show vaping is safer, harmful chemicals and nicotine are still found in vapes. There are still many unknown facts when it comes to vaping. Other people feel it should be a person’s choice to smoke or not. While we agree it should be a person’s choice, we also believe high schoolers should be educated and know the facts.
One problem we are concerned with is vaping advertisement. The smells, the look, everything about vapes attract people, even young kids. From peppermint, coffee, to blue razz lemonade, there are more than 400 scents and flavors to choose from. Vaping companies have also created flavors like Tootsie Roll and Girl Scouts Thin Mints. Young kids who do not realize what vapes are, are fascinated. We think flavors should not be allowed for the vapes, because of the people who are attracted by them. We think vape products should be put out of sight of young children, and smells should not be advertised in the stores.
Research has shown people who smoke with vapes, are likely to smoke cigarettes later in life. Between 2011-2017, the increase of youth using tobacco has skyrocketed. Juuls have taken the market with 68 percent sales. We believe if people do not take a stand against vaping, the growth of vapes and cigarettes will keep increasing for generations to come.
Around 60 chemicals are found in vaping products. As stated above, there is still unknown facts about vaping, meaning there could be more chemicals inside no one knows about. Some chemicals can cause dry mouth and upper respiratory problems for people who vape constantly. For women who are pregnant, the chemicals in the vapes can lead to stillbirth and preterm births. The nicotine inside the vapes can affect brain receptors, which can lead to nicotine addiction later in life. We feel more research should be done on the chemicals going into the vapes.
At the Stampede, we know actions need to be taken against the epidemic. While stores are suppose to check ID’s before the purchase, we understand some clerks do not care about checking ID’s. Companies need to verify their clerks are following the laws, as to protect underage people and the company as a whole. Schools need to have lessons about the dangers of vaping. High schoolers think they know everything, when in reality, they don’t. We think schools should have mandatory lessons and classes about the dangers of vaping, and other activities students enjoy that are dangerous and underage.
The Stampede feels if people take a stand against vaping, the rates would drop like a fly. We want people to live long, happy, healthy lives. By putting our foot down and taking a stand, we can stop the problem of vaping with high schoolers and young adults.