Love your lungs


Caitlin Lloyd

Cigarette in mouth

Vaping and hookah use are rapidly replacing cigarettes in today’s youth. Advertisements claim that such technologies are “healthier.” However, this is not the case.

“E-Cigarettes are electronic devices that are used to simulate the smoking of actual cigarettes,” Emmett Miskell (11) said. “Hookah achieves the same purpose of being an alternative to traditional cigarettes because it allows for the inhalation of smoke through a tube. However, it is less mobile than an e-cigarette.”

The charcoal used to heat the tobacco in hookahs raise health risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and chemicals that cause lung, bladder and mouth cancer. Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vaporizers, provide doses of nicotine and other additives in the form of an aerosol. The common belief is that vaping allows for cigarette smokers to easily quit smoking cigarettes since they believe vaping is healthier, but vaping provides the same amount of nicotine.

“Secondhand smoking is the indirect inhalation of smoke from another person that is smoking,” Miskell said. “I view this as very dangerous because many of the same effects from smoking are present in secondhand smoking.”

People are strongly voicing their opinions against vaping in public areas due to the risks of secondhand smoking. Many believe that locations where people can vape should be regulated like cigarette smoking due to the harms of secondhand smoking.

“I believe that, like smoking, there should be designated areas for vaping. I would prefer that smoking be banned in public places, but currently that does not seem plausible,” Miskell said.

The increase of this technology among teens is of high concern since vaping is unregulated by the government, allowing vaporizers to be available to a wide population. For years, our generation has been considered the generation to end smoking. However, much hope has been lost to vaping.

“I have seen this issue become less of [a] prominent topic over the past few years, so while we might be the generation to end smoking, direct action will need to be taken soon,” Miskell said.

One commonly suggested action to decrease smoking is to tax the industry more heavily.

“[Taxation and regulation] would most likely decrease the smoking population over a period of time,” Miskell said.

Time will tell if our generation will be the one to wise up and end smoking without replacing it with it something equally as bad.