The Epidemic of Vaping and Smoking Cannabis

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The Epidemic of Vaping and Smoking Cannabis

Krystal Sifuentes, Assistant Editor/student-journalist

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Online trends constantly change and target teenagers. Unfortunately, it has turned to harmful drugs such as marijuana and vaping and they are now being abused by younger people at school.

Both of these are easy to purchase. They are being sold to minors at a very rapid rate causing a spread.

When adolescents use these drugs their brains become at risk for not fully developing. Both negatively affect the lungs.

Most young people who abuse cannabis are usually searching for a way to get high. The use of these drugs are used to escape from certain problem that the user may be experiencing.

Youngsters often do not stop to think twice about their decisions but just using them for their own recreational use. Fortunately smoking weed is less addicting than other substances making it easier to quit.

Other users may still experience withdrawal symptoms such as, change of mood, appetite loss, insomnia, and excessive sweating.

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 38% of high school students report having used marijuana in their life.

However growing young adults usually do not know the psychological dangers of the drugs or the problems they cause physically.

Clairemont High School guest speaker, Joel Eberstein said, “People who smoke (marijuana) to help mental health will usually worsen the effects, this is often said it’s suppose to help but it can actually develop addiction or more problems.”

Other rumors that casually float around is what marijuana is intended for. In some cases this substance can be used to, help mental disorders but for minors is not recommended.

E-cigs also often have more chemicals than what companies claim.  

The Cable News Network (CNN) online reports, “Chromium, nickel, zinc and lead… very, very tiny amount (of lead) practically undetectable. But after the e-liquid was heated through the e-cigarette device, lead levels were then 25 times higher there is no safe level of lead.”

Adults need to focus on mental health problems and actually take a deeper dive into why smoking appeals to the youth.

E-cigarettes also known as shacks are easier to get since they are not dispensed in legal places where it is required to have an ID. Containing 85% nicotine, causing smokers cough, lung cancer, and other harmful effects.

Most youth are not aware of companies’ intentions. The more vulnerable the teens are, the more money they make.

On high school grounds these devices are found more dominant when it comes to all the other drugs being used.

According to the online news source National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40% of students are found to be doing any kind of vaping, in an average high school.

A Clairemont High School sophomore who requested anonymity that regularly smokes believes that nicotine is very addicting compared to weed.

“Nicotine is more addictive because when you start to smoke it a lot and then stop it makes you feel kind of sick, so you want to keep doing it to not feel sick,” she said.

Officials need to stop the constant increase of students using any kind of drug. Vaping is causing more and more students to not focus on their work.

CNN online also reports that in,2016 report from the US surgeon general. It cited a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students from 2011 to 2015, and the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey noted that 1.7 million high school students said they had used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days.”

Identifying this issue and educating the minitory about the unhealthy effects of these drugs or the spreading of it can potentially create more with addicted individuals.  

“I think it’s (vaping) constantly happening at every school right now. The biggest thing would be getting everyone on board on how vaping is not healthy. It’s easier said than done. There’s always going to be students who just try to create a culture that’s seen as frowned upon,” said Clairemont High School student-teacher Mr. Hancock.

Especially since smoking in general has been normalized through social media. The culture of doing what celebrities or rappers are doing is often idolized by the youth.

“I think teenagers use drugs because their experimenting and see other people doing it. It’s also seen on social media a lot,”said 16-year-old Clairemont High School junior who requested anonymity.

The use of marijuana and shacks are gaining more popularity amongst teens. Insuring that these drugs are used less, begin with one’s own actions.