Student opinion on vaping revealed

With a variety of different flavors all aimed at appealing to potential consumers, vape pens and e-cigarettes have seen an increase in usage among high school students across the country.

Senior Jordan Binford thinks that students feel motivated to vape because they are part of a society where it is acceptable and they identify themselves as such.

“I feel like they do it because it is part of a culture, like what they do, what they are surrounded by. I would not say it is like the drug culture itself but more of like what those people hang around and their persona,” Binford said.

There are four main ingredients in vape juice which include water, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring of choice. However, the nicotine that is in vape juice is concentrated. Propylene glycol is known for provoking allergic reactions to those with skin allergies. Some have a nonchalant view toward the subject while others have strong opposing opinions.

Senior Hunter Hamilton comments on the legality of vape use.

“It is just like smoking. If you are 18 you can use it. Technically it is not a tobacco product because there is no tobacco in it,” Hamilton said. “If you want to use it, as long as it does not have nicotine in it, then there is really not a big difference between that and chewing gum. It is pretty much just for the flavor…like a habit.”

Binford brings up the social aspect of vaping for high school students and explains the motive behind their reasons to vape.

“I think mentally it makes them feel like they are trying to be cool, like how cigarettes used to be the cool thing back in the 1940s. But now it is turning into vapes and how you kind of have this [hard-core] persona, per say,” Binford said.

With the increased use of vape in the high school atmosphere, Hamilton feels that the trend will continue to grow as time goes on.

“[The trend] will probably increase a lot more before it goes away…there has not been a ton of research that proves that there is anything wrong with them besides the nicotine,” said Hamilton.

Despite the nonchalant view toward vaping, nurse Karen Smith feels that vape pens are more harmful than good, potentially creating a gateway to harder forms that include nicotine.


“Vape pens are wildly popular right now. There is a vape pen that you can use for the flavor juice, like bubble gum. This really concerns me because these are kid flavors, which is really drawing in the younger generation. And then there are vapes with flavor and nicotine,” Smith said. “There are also vapes that instead of the [flavored liquid] you buy…that are extremely dangerous.”


Many are under the impression that the liquid is not harmful to their body or even as damaging as cigarettes but Smith feels much differently.

“The FDA is not regulating the liquids put in the pens. There has been quite a lot of research recently on all the chemicals that are going into your body,” Smith said.

Eventually the FDA will have to further investigate the effects of the chemicals that vape juice contains but until then most will rely on whether vaping is socially acceptable.

“I can see a student justifying to themselves that ‘vapes are not as bad as cigarettes’ but really it can be very harmful to your body,” Smith said.

Although students do not view vaping as a huge issue at school, there are consequences that can result in disciplinary action. Administrator Willie Stewart explains the repercussions if a student is caught.

“They would go to the TIES [a tobacco cessation program] class and would not be suspended for three days on first offense. If there was a second offense it would be progressive discipline,” Stewart said

In addition, Stewart refers to the student handbook to discuss the district policy concerning vape use.

According to the handbook, “A suspension for a vapor violation may be modified or eliminated if the student agrees to waive any appeal rights.”