Madison High School Senior Shares Updates on Vaping
Sid Thakker is a Madison High School senior who has worked alongside his school’s Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist and presented on the dangers of vaping to parents prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has worked on the design of the This is Quitting service and works with the Fairfax Prevention Coalition. This is his update on vaping and Juuling by teens.
For the last two years, FCPS has seen an increase in students vaping-Juuling at school. Vaping-Juuling is the act of inhaling vapor produced by a vaporizer or electronic cigarette. The vapor is produced from a material such as an e-liquid, concentrate, or dry herb. The good news is that the CDC reported that teen vaping has had an overall decrease of 7.9 percent from four to three million students. However, we still face a large problem; in 2020, sales of disposable e-cigarettes have soared among teens, with almost a 1000 percent increase.
We find that, especially during this time, students and parents need to be educated on what vaping can do to their health. Experts now believe vaping-smoking can enhance COVID-19’s ability to spread from person to person, infiltrate the lungs, and spark some of the worst coronavirus symptoms. COVID-19, a respiratory pathogen, capitalizes on the scarred lungs of vapers and smokers.
Although most students are not attending school in-person, we fear students have more time to use and experiment with e-cigarettes. We are concerned that some students and parents seem to perceive vaping as a relatively innocuous activity that is less harmful than other tobacco products. The reality is that there is growing evidence that vaping can harm people—especially adolescents.
Research from Stanford University and the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) has shown that young adults who have ever used e-cigarettes are five times more likely to contract COVID-19 and face severe adverse infections. Read the Stanford research and the UCSF research.
We encourage all parents to discuss the potential dangers of vaping with their children. It’s essential for us as a community to stay educated on topics that affect people we know and love. We hope that by providing everyone with a better understanding of what vaping can do to one’s health, students will make healthier and wiser choices for themselves.
FCPS has created a very informative webpage to help students and parents learn more about vaping-Juuling, which can be accessed online.
Information about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) program is available online. Parents can also contact the school counselor or school office for the name of the Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) assigned to your child’s school.
Sid Thakker, Madison High, Class of 2021