Vaping is considered a nationwide epidemic, especially among high school and middle school students. To help combat this epidemic, school districts have started to include anti-vaping messages during school wide anti-drug assemblies. In hopes of shedding light on the negatives of vaping, these presentations offer statistics, numerous personal anecdotes, x-rays of damaged lungs, and sometimes graphic pictures of people’s faces being burned by a malfunctioning vaping device that exploded on them. While having these assemblies does give students exposure to the terrible effects of vaping, it doesn’t seem to encourage students who already vape to quit nor does it provide adequate support for students trying to quit, as according to the FDA nearly 3.58 million teens still use e-cigarettes.
Many of the marketing techniques used by vape companies appeal to teens. One of the most popular e-cigarette devices (according to social media ads and posts) are Juul pods. Juul pods are marketed as being sleek, portable, and most importantly not as harmful as actual cigarettes. Vaping devices are marketed as being flavorful and this marketing tactic clearly affects teens as according to the FDA, About 8 in 10 of youth e-cigarette users are consuming flavored vaping products.
A local high school student claims that “To many teens, vaping seems like a fun and rebellious way to let off some steam.” Many teens turn to vapes due to an increase in stress that they do not know how to deal with. As another high school student in the area asserts, “If we want to make a real difference in vape culture among teens, we should focus on helping teens find healthy stress management techniques while also informing them about the negatives of vaping.” Assemblies about vaping are extremely important as they inform students about all the negative effects of vaping, but the main problem lies in the fact that many teens don’t know how else to let off steam. Here are some recommended ways from WebMD to reduce stress while quitting smoke.
- “What do you love to do? It might be just the thing to help you relax. Listen to your favorite music. Watch a comedy. Take your dog out for a run. Connect with friends or family. Get outside in nature.”
- “Being active is a great way to handle stress. You’ll get a boost of brain chemicals that help you feel good. Almost any type of exercise helps, and you’ll want to do it regularly. It could become part of your new life as a nonsmoker.”