The end of Vaping in the Valley?

Lanthorn Editorial Board

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Vaping has become a cultural phenomenon – the fad of all fads. Walking around Grand Valley State University campuses, it isn’t uncommon to see (and smell) clouds of fruit-loop infused vapor floating around. However, as new reports and findings come out surrounding the effects of vaping, the end of Grand Vape State University may be near. 

A lot of GVSU students have probably heard their parents tell stories about smoking cigarettes in college, saying it was “only something they did in groups” and referring to themselves as a “social smoker.”

Despite the efforts of YouTube ads that use puppets to shame those smoking in 2019, the phrase “social smoker” is not going away any time soon. One would be hard struck to find a party and social gathering that doesn’t include students whipping out Juuls and vapes with clouds following them shortly afterwards.

It might have become more than just a social pastime here in Allendale, as you could pass 5 college kids hitting their devices on the way to class, and a few more puffing clouds once they close their respective car doors to head home.

Last Nov., Michigan was one of the first ten states to legalize marijuana. Now, we are the first state to enact a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. On the surface, these seem like conflicting ideals. So how did a state relatively open to recreational drugs turn around and take away our Juuls?

In recent years, marijuana’s image has become more positive. Research has debunked many myths concerning its dangers. Meanwhile, vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, and when people started using it, we didn’t know much. 

So maybe our first reaction to the ban shouldn’t be outrage. Maybe it should be an attempt to learn more, and protect ourselves from the nicotine addiction that many of our parents have struggled with.

On Sept. 6, U.S. health officials stated they are investigating over 450 cases of illnesses that are potentially vaping-related. The number of deaths relating to vaping recently rose to five. It’s becoming clear that vaping causes more health risks than we might have originally thought.

It’s also important to acknowledge that the ban is specifically on flavored vapes, not on vaping as a whole. For those struggling to quit cigarettes, they might decide that the risks of e-cigarettes are worth taking. But the flavors increase the appeal of vaping, which is good for the companies that sell them, but bad for the teenagers and young adults who pick up the habit without an existing nicotine addiction.

Do you even vape, bruh? When did you start vaping? Is that 50 nic? Were you still in high school? Why did you start? Can I hit your Juul bro? What was so appealing? Did you even have a nicotine addiction, bruh?

While vaping has been the fad of the decade, it’s time to realize that our health is more important than blowing O’s.