Kids Vaping: California and Feds Cracking Down

Kira Grega, Staff Reporter

Vaping has become a popular activity among the young and old at this point in time. With the many varieties, brands and flavors, it’s starting to consume the lives of people who never even smoked a day in their life. After speaking with some students here at Indian River High School, it became clear that some think the rules don’t apply to them.

Those rules are getting tighter. A 23 billion dollar industry is about to lose a massive number of young customers due to the Federal agencies starting to crack down on this addictive activity, and who it’s being sold to.  According to the LA Times, over a thousand retailers have been fined with selling nicotine products to underage children.

In the state of California, a new law says that the legal age for buying and or selling tobacco products is now 21. Some California cities and counties have even banned the sale of flavored tobacco altogether, as that is the kid most obviously marketed to kids.

Several high-profile studies have shown how smoking (or vaping) tobacco products can negatively impact a teen’s development, especially the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for attention.

I talked with some High Schoolers and teachers to get their opinions on this widespread phenomenon.  An anonymous 11th grade girl stated “I don’t know much about vaping, but it doesn’t seem like the worst thing you can do. Everyone’s doing it.” It appears that image really has taken a toll on how people view certain products; people in general don’t seem to think vaping is as bad, health-wise, as smoking. 

Mr. Brown, a Health Administrator over on Fort Drum says, “Kids don’t understand the actual amount of damage vaping can do to your lungs in the long run. The fluid builds up in your lungs and can ultimately make you sick.” This reporter certainly understands that teens will do what they want, but after learning these facts, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to risk their well-being just to seem cool to their peers.