Staff Editorial: Deadly addiction


Photo by Gavin Mullin

The Blue Valley School District joined a lawsuit against JUUL on Oct. 14.

The Express Staff

The latest reports of vape-related deaths and health issues have exposed the risk e-cigarette users are taking. It’s more important than ever to put an end to this trend. A little bit of fun is not worth dying for.

Recently, six vape-related deaths have been reported across the U.S., including one case in Kansas. There have also been more than 450 recorded cases of corresponding illnesses with symptoms ranging from shortness of breath and chest pain to comas and permanent lung damage. These repercussions, after just a few years of e-cigarettes’ popularity, have drawn concerns for the safety of vapers. The state of Michigan recently banned the sale of all vape-related products and the Trump administration is moving to remove flavored vaping materials from markets across America, marking the beginning of a potential vape-less future.

Executive Director of School Administration David Stubblefield, along with Blue Valley principals, have put in effort to eradicate e-cigarettes from school grounds as well, changing the policy in March of punishing the use of vape products to the same degree as the use of marijuana and other drugs. In addition, they implemented rules requiring exterior bathroom doors to be open at all times. By implementing a three to five day suspension for the violation of the District’s no-vape policy and a required program to teach students the harm of nicotine addiction, Associate Principal Tyler Alexander said they hoped to minimize vaping among students and protect them from its harm. However, Principal Amy Pressly said the school resource officers still regularly catch students vaping in school, sometimes up to half a dozen students each day.

In light of its physical harm and medical problems, school districts have taken action to target big-brand production companies like Juul for marketing to teenage use, instead of marketing their products as a smoking alternative for adults. Goddard School District in Goddard, Kan. recently filed a lawsuit against Juul, claiming e-cigarettes pose a significant risk to students’ health and have created a disturbance to the district’s educational mission.

So even with confirmed cases of negative health effects, deaths and behavioral consequences with the school, why do students continue to vape?

Students are aware of its harm, but they either don’t care or don’t believe it will affect them. With posters around the school stating the dangers of vaping and all the information in the media, students can’t really say they didn’t know it was bad for them.

Though many of these vape-related respiratory illnesses are a mystery in terms of what specifically causes the damage and how much it will deteriorate one’s future health, the growing occurrences of them should be reason enough for students to collectively quit vaping. As a student body, we need to take charge to rid vaping’s prevalence at BVNW.

The recent deaths related to juuling should be the fuel to a movement against vaping in young adults. Though brands have marketed their product as “safer than cigarettes,” the short term effects across the nation have foreshadowed vape’s possible effects in the future, and it’s imperative that students quit vaping to prevent detrimental harm. Your peers are being hospitalized— simply vaping “for fun” or due to peer pressure is not a good enough reason to destroy your body with potentially irreversible lung damage.