Students and faculty having growing health concerns, due to a rise in vaping in our culture at Northampton High School.
Neither the students or faculty know the health effects of vaping because it is not regulated.
“The tobacco industry has been controlling young adults for years, and now they’ve just created another product that they claim to be safer. In reality it’s not safer at all,” says Karen Jarvis-Vance, Director of Health Services, Education, and Safety at NHS.
She points out that the tobacco is regulated and electronic cigarettes aren’t, which she says could cause problems.
“Why let the industry control you,” Jarvis-Vance states.
Michelle Bernhard, an English teacher at NHS says, “There isn’t a lot of research on it and that concerns me, because anything in your lungs can affect your body greatly. The lungs are a vital organ, you don’t want to damage them at an early age.”
She states that there is no way to regulate what people are vaping, if kids need to vape that bad maybe as some sort of an anxiety reliever and can’t wait till after school to do it, there is an underlying problem.
Yet students at NHS continue to participate in the activity, often in the bathroom.
A student at NHS was asked what they thought of vaping, and they stated that, “ It’s stupid, because people are doing it to look cool, it’s like everyone is doing it so why shouldn’t I be doing it type of thing.” They state that they tried vaping once to try to quit smoking cigarettes but it didn’t help, but the feeling it gives and the taste is the appealing part for many.
In addition, another student at NHS says that, “Teenagers like to rebel, as teenagers we like to try new things, we don’t have barriers,” and added,“I vape, and I just like doing it. There is no reason really, the is feeling is good, it tastes good but very expensive.”
“Electronic cigarettes are cool. Students feel like they are getting away with something when they vape in school,” Jarvis-Vance says.
She states that seniors are documented on being the class with the most students who vape. When a student at NHS shared their thoughts on the question, they say “Sophomores and juniors do it the most, or at least what I have noticed.”
“School is supposed to be a safe, pure environment,” Mrs. Bernhard said. “It’s a place to learn, not to vape,” she added.