Students Raise Awareness on E-cigarettes


Alyeska Zamora

Marina King opens the anti-vape assembly

Sheridan Allen, Reporter/Photographer

 Vaping has slowly become more popular among teens in the past few years. However; according to the National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA), 13.75% of teens do not know what is inside of their e-cigarettes. PALS (Peer Assistance and Leadership) teacher, Marina King, decided to help students become more aware. “I am very passionate about not smoking, or doing anything that can be bad for your lungs,” she said.

On Friday, January 25, the PALS classes put on an assembly for the whole school. The students in PALS talked about the dangers of vaping.The students took turns standing up, talking, and showing video clips about smoking and vaping. Most of the clips were T.V. ads to help warn people that tobacco companies may be targeting young adults. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration documents, the marketing of e-cigarettes has been directed at the young adults and children.

Along with the videos, Amanda Kennedy, who works for the Wichita County Public Health District, said that tobacco companies “can’t get new users, unless they’re appealing to the younger crowd and whether that means teens or that mean young adults, is hard to say.”

Senior PALS member, Sarah MacLagan thinks that some kids paid attention and learned more about the dangers . She also believes that the PALS “were about to do something that was a positive contribution.” She said that the assembly helped one of her friend’s be able to tell her boyfriend, who doesn’t go to Rider, the dangers and help him stop vaping.  

Kennedy also mentioned that vaping was invented in China and didn’t come to America until 2009. With it being so new, not that much is known other than a few studies, some of which found that 99% of e-cigarettes contain some nicotine, even though most say that they are nicotine-free. According to Kennedy “nicotine changes your brain chemistry.” Nicotine can have some serious side effects including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and eye irritation at low doses, and tachycardia, high blood pressure, seizures, coma, and even death at high doses, according to MedicineNet. Also a study by the NIDA showed that 30.7% of e-cigarettes users started smoking within six months of vaping. The PALS students helped bring more awareness to some of these side effects and a higher chance of smoking.