The Vaping Epidemic


Emilie Matthews, Staff Reporter

Mango, cotton candy, and fruit punch are examples of the many flavors found in Juul pods and e-cigarrettes, part of a new phase of drug use in kids, one far different from the experiences of their parents. According to the Denver Public Health Department, 23% of high school students use tobacco products like vape pens, cigarettes and chew.  These nicotine products, especially vape pens, have evolved from a carefree and even cool alternative to smoking into a dangerous and deadly epidemic, one in which teens and young adults all over the country are being hospitalized due to various respiratory illnesses, and many of whom aren’t making it out alive. 


According to WebMD, “Thirteen people have died from vaping-related lung disease as the number of confirmed and possible cases in the U.S. reached 805.” Due to the increasing amount of hospitalizations caused by vaping, many public health officials are urging people to stop using e-cigarettes, and some cities are taking action. The Denver City Council has voted to raise the minimum age to buy any product containing tobacco, including e-cigarettes and Juuls, from 18 to 21, a major first step in combatting the crisis.


The dangerous outbreak of e-cigarettes and juul products has reached the entire country, and unfortunately, that includes Green Mountain High School. Megan Reynolds, a sophomore at GMHS, has witnessed her fellow students’ enthusiasm for Juuls and other various tobacco products. According to Megan, “… there’s enough students that do it that it has become a big problem”. Whether or not students at GMHS are purchasing these products legally does not excuse the fact that it is illegal to use them on school grounds, and that these nicotine products have proven to be deadly all over the country. “It’s kinda shocking to hear that people have died from it… I know of people who Juul, and it’s kinda crazy to know that something that a lot of people have been doing lately is so harmful. Personally, I think that if it’s super harmful, something should be done about it.”