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Brian Boyle

Crandall 2nd

AP Language

13 October 2019

Clearing the Smoke

The purpose of this article is to define the uprising of e-cigarette use (also known as

vaping), and how it became so highlighted in the news. The study intends to show the advantages

and disadvantages of vaping, health risks, facts and myths of vaping, and why the popularity of

vaping inflated so quickly.

The first e-cigarette of the modern era was made in the mid-2000’s. Since then, vaping

has exploded in popularity. One major reason why this occurred was because of the

advertisement used by companies that it can help you quit conventional smoking and it is

healthier than smoking. For a while, this was believed to be true. Within the past year, however,

negative media attention has grasped the vaping industry, with new studies coming out that it is

unhealthy and leads to other diseases. They have also claimed that vape companies purposely

target teens with fun flavors like cotton candy, mint, and fruity flavors. However, vaping

companies have maintained that they only target adults and it is healthier than conventional

smoking. So which side is true, and which side is wrong? The answer to that is difficult to

answer. An honest answer is there are facts to both sides, and myths to both sides. In-depth

analysis supports this, detailing the two sides.

When vaping first became popular, the majority of the population thought it as a cutting-

edge, great technology that will help people quit smoking and is healthier. Michael Blaha,

director of clinical research at Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center, says “there’s almost no doubt
that they expose you to fewer toxic chemical than traditional cigarettes” (Hopkins Medicine, pg.

2). Scientists do not know how many harsh chemicals are in vaping devices, but regular

cigarettes have more than 7,000 toxic chemicals in it. Breathing in less chemicals means less

chances of getting sick or developing a disease.

In addition, vaping has been proved as a better way to quit smoking compared to other

forms of nicotine replacements. In a study from Harvard Health, one group was assigned vapes

while another group was assigned different nicotine replacements. After four weeks, they found

that 18% of vapers had stopped smoking, compared to 10% in the group using nicotine

replacements (Shmerling, pg. 2). This proves that vaping can help people quit smoking. So,

scientists and politicians may want to consider this when debating the vaping issue. Yes, people

quit with other forms. However, the more effective way to quit smoking in this study was

vaping. If quitters lose their vapes, it could lead them to revert back to smoking cigarettes. For

many people trying to quit, vapes are necessary. They are not the only victim, though.

Vape shops and businesses can dramatically fall to their demise as well. If federal and

state governments implement laws that curb vaping, it can have a devastating result for the

owners. Tiffany King and her father run a vape shop and spoke out what might happen if laws

are implemented, especially laws that ban flavors. King explains, “if the ban takes effect it will

destroy…businesses.” She goes on, saying when the governments say no flavors, that “means no

shop, which means, ‘I’m sorry but nineteen families are looking for new jobs” (Q13 Fox, pg.1).

Vaping has made a statement in the U.S. economy, worth over 7 billion U.S. dollars (BBC, graph

2). If the government stamped an expiration date on it by laws (metaphor), effects could be close

to catastrophic. Many employees would lose their jobs, putting thousands back unemployed and

searching for jobs. In addition, it brings the health of the economy down. State and federal
governments need to realize that before implementing laws. They have to see how it benefits a

local economy, bringing in money and more jobs.

Over the last year, vaping has been shown on the news in many negative ways. Use of

vapes and e-cigarettes have increased dramatically in high school, studies show. The state of

North Carolina has recently sued eight vape companies, claiming that they intentionally

marketed their products to kids and teens. Josh Stein, the state’s attorney general, angrily stated

that those companies have been “aggressively targeting children and do not require appropriate

age verification when selling these dangerous and addicting products” (NPR, pg. 1). Statistics

also show that the rise of vapes has led to nearly 30% of high schoolers using tobacco products

and 7% of middle schoolers (NPR, pg. 2). Using the claim that vaping helps people quit and then

marketing kids is something that needs to stop, the state has said. What makes them so appealing

to the kids is the flavors, like cotton candy, watermelon, mint, and many others. This is also

concerning because of the little knowledge known about the effects about vaping. The

government wants to keep it out of teens’ hands, so they do not get hooked onto it and become

addicted. It is clear that vaping is dangerous and causes harmful effects, though.

In addition to that, hundreds of people across the country have been rushed to hospital

from issues related to vaping. At least 14 deaths have been reported to vaping, and a new lung

disease has been found from vaping (CNN, page 1). A study released shows that even vaping just

once can damage blood vessels, leading heart problems. The researchers that “the scans showed

that blood didn’t flow as much as before; instead, they observed reduced blood flow and oxygen

in the leg-an effect that lasted for about an hour” (NBC, pg. 2). Studies show that vaping can

have drastic effects on the body. Heart attacks, respiratory problems, pneumonia, and other
unknown diseases roam in the vaping devices. This can lead to many more hospitalizations and,

if it gets worse enough, more deaths.

It is necessary, though, to make clear that the majority of these hospitalizations and

deaths are from vapes infused with THC- the active ingredient in cannabis (CNN, page 1).

However, it is not to be mistaken that vapes that do not have THC are still just as dangerous as

the next, as they might contain the same ingredient: vitamin E. High levels of this vitamin were

found “in nearly all its cannabis samples tested. More than a dozen samples were tested…”

(Washington Post, pg. 3). Although it may be too early to tell, vitamin E may have a significant

impact in the vapes infused with THC. However, it is hard to tell, because these companies can

mix any sort of concoction with THC, not list the ingredients, and leave the consumer in danger.

The fog is dense, but scientists and researchers are trying to walk through it and find a solution

(metaphor).

Vaping definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. From a lasting effect to the

economy to helping people quit smoking, the perks show off their strength. People can use vapes

to their advantage, and it definitely helps the economy in the meantime. However, the dangers of

vaping and red tape lurk around them. No one truly knows what is completely going in inside the

body as you vape. In addition, teenagers becoming hooked to the devices are not exactly a great

image to parents, schools, and the governments, either. When the smoke clears, which side will

be on top? Or will there be some sort of compromise? It will be a while for the cloud to lift, but

when it is, will it dissipate, or remain?