Seeing through the smoke

Alcantar stands against e-cigarettes


Photo by: Joy Lee

Sophomore Sarah Alcanter takes a stance against vaping and encourages peers to do the same. Photo by Joy Lee.

Story by Sarah Alcantar, Assistant online co-editor

This summer, I went to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Conference (CADCA). At the convention, our Youth Coalition for the Crawford County Livewell Addiction Prevention Taskforce learned about different ways to help our community fight against drugs and tobacco use and also bringing awareness to our community of these addictions. Tobacco-based products are being targeted towards teens more and more, especially with vaping and Juuling.

It has been well established that vaping is causing a fatal lung illness. A study by the CDC stated that there are about 450 possible cases of this illness in 33 states which include five deaths and this has just started this summer.  This has led me to the conclusion that it is best to just not vape.

This has led me to the conclusion that it is best to just not vape.”

— Sarah Alcantar

The current mysterious respiratory illness from vaping can range from a cough and a fever to chest pain and shortness of breath.  According to NBC News, the CDC advised individuals to consider not using e-cigarettes, because as of now, this is the primary means of preventing this severe lung disease, according to CDC Lung Injury Response team member Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman.

Despite these facts surrounding vaping, it is reported by Yale Medicine that “more than 3.6 million middle and high school students currently use e-cigarettes, according to the latest National Youth Tobacco Study. Another national study last year found that 11 percent of high school seniors, 8 percent of 10th-graders, and 3.5 percent of eighth-graders vaped with nicotine during a previous one month period.”  Another study afterward found out that the teens who are vaping think it is mostly harmless.

E-cigarettes have been known for being a “safer” alternative than regular tobacco products. But studies have shown that since they have higher nicotine content than regular cigarettes, they can harm the development of the brain. With the brain is fully developed by the age of 25, our teenage brains can’t afford it.  According to Surgeon, nicotine products can have long-lasting effects on the brain including mood disorders, lowering impulse control, loss of attention span and nicotine addiction.

Overall, from what I have read and the training that I received at the CADCA convention, my advice is to just not start.  Tobacco is a very addictive drug that can take over your life. The choice is yours. If you are already addicted you can find help through your family doctor, school nurse, school counselor, and the Crawford County Health Department for guidance and direction in getting help to quit.