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Vaping -- what once started as an innocent trend has begun to cause panic throughout the public. E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid to a temperature high enough to be inhaled as a form of aerosol; this is referred to as vaping.

The Centers for Disease Control have so far confirmed 18 vaping deaths. So if there’s proof that vaping causes damage, then why do people do it?

Vaping was initially developed to help people quit smoking cigarettes. But most students have never touched a cigarette, yet they’re getting hooked on vaping. They believe that vaping is safe, when in reality, vaping shouldn’t be promoted as a safe thing.

It is true that e-cigarettes contain fewer chemicals than are in tobacco smoke, but some types of e-cigarettes contain more nicotine than the conventional cigarette. Others contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Immoral companies want to hook the new generation by promoting e-cigarettes as a habit without consequences. In 2014 they spent $125 million on marketing and advertising, targeting the younger students by placing their ads near schools.

One of the main reasons students claim to vape is the flavored liquids that are used in them. When one student vapes, multiple students want to try it out. When you have groups of students in a school vaping, the students that aren’t vaping begin to feel left out. That’s when peer pressure comes in, and more students join in. They also use vaping as a way to gain popularity by posting themselves vaping on their social media. At this point, vaping is seen as normal among teens without any awareness of the consequences.

Students talk about experiencing abnormal symptoms during physical activities or sleeping. They refuse to believe that vaping has anything to do with it, when in reality, it does. Since they aren’t informed, they continue to vape.

On July 1, the state of Virginia prohibited sales or distributions of nicotine vapor products to any person under the age of 21. The possession of a nicotine vapor product is also prohibited for any individual under the age of 21.

The question is, will these regulations eliminate vaping in the younger groups? People are using this as a way to make profits. An older adult will buy the vapor products to then sell to teens at a higher price.

Once teenagers become addicted to vaping, they will pay whatever the price to get what they want. The best way to eliminate vaping is by raising awareness of the true consequences it has to your health.

Amanda Arellano is the sports editor of The Falconer, Fauquier High School’s student newspaper.

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