Smoking devices, addicting, dangerous

Yahir Zapata, Managing Editor

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Many teenagers are using smoking devices that are dangerous to their health. These devices are harmful and can lead to cancer, burnt lungs and even death. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to use these devices. 

As many as 27.5 percent of all high school students in the U.S. have admitted to using a smoking device. Rates have risen up from 20.8 percent in 2018 according to results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual National Youth Tobacco Survey. This percentage is as many as 1 in 4 students. People say that these devices are less harmful than cigarettes, but using an entire vaping tank can equal a whole pack of cigarettes. These harmful devices can be dangerous and cause damage to every organ in the body, including the heart.

The law has stated that it is illegal for anyone under 21 to use these products, but even at this age it is not recommended due to the brain not being fully developed until the age of 25. Using these devices at such an early age can cause damage to the brain’s decision making and impulse control areas. Using a small amount of nicotine can cause addiction and can impact the way synapses are formed, which are the parts of the brain that control people’s attention and learning.

Initially these devices were supposed to be used by adult smokers to help quit smoking, but they have been marketed to teenagers who have gotten addicted to smoking. The best way to stop teenagers is to keep them away from these devices. Since most smokers begin at a young age it is likely that they won’t get addicted to these devices if they don’t use them by the age of 26, which is considered the age when the brain is fully developed. A federal law was passed on August 8, 2016, that prohibits anyone under 21 from getting access to these devices. Not every state in the country follows this anti e-cigarette law. Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and California follow this anti-smoking law. 

In order to dispose of these devices everyone must follow this law and officials should highly enforce against their use. Every day, someone new tries these devices but this could be avoided if people get shown the consequences.