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5 Things for Students to Know about Vaping

By January 2, 2019April 6th, 2022No Comments

Although teenage cigarette smoking ad campaigns like those made by Truth.com seem to have diminished the habit among teenagers, a new smoking trend seems to have emerged in the past few years. You may have encountered this trend of vaping either by seeing a vape pen like the JUUL and mistaking it for a USB drive or by walking behind a cotton candy-flavored puff of smoke. Electronic or ‘e-cigarettes’ were first introduced as a cigarette replacement.

The problem with these e-cigarettes is that they are instead being utilized by teenagers who do not already have a nicotine addiction who ultimately develop one through the use of e-cigarettes. In addition, a study by JAMA pediatrics found that found that 12- to 17-year-olds who vape are twice as likely to become regular smokers within a year. In that way, these vape pens like the JUUL are acting as a gateway drug for nicotine addiction which enables teenagers to switch from e-cigarettes to regular cigarettes in order to get their nicotine fix. These flavor pods have introduced the problem of targeting younger customers due to their pods that can be fruit or candy flavored which attracts teenagers. The FDA has been made aware of the risk these flavors may pose to teenage nicotine use and addiction and has made steps to make ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors. They have also considered steps in making vaping less attractive to teenagers. 

Although the research is still being built on the potential effects of vaping on teenage nicotine usage, it is important for students to consider the following:

1. Don’t forget that e-cigarettes and vapes still have potential harmful health effects. The chemicals inside these products may include cancer-causing substances, may cause gum-disease, and trigger bronchitis.

2. Be aware of the age restrictions for e-cigarettes. The FDA bans minors from purchasing these products, and specific brands like JUUL even require that you are at least 21 years old in order to purchase.

3. These products contain nicotine. Contrary to the popular belief that the smoke is just water vapor, the smoke does contain nicotine. The amount of nicotine varies depending on type of e-cigarette, JUUL pods can be equal to over 1 pack of cigarettes.

4. If you are a student who is underage, you cannot use e-cigarettes or vape pens under any circumstance. If you are caught smoking on campus you may violate your student code and you may face punishment such as suspension.

5. For college students who are legally able to use e-cigarettes or vape pens, you need to be aware of the campus policies your school may have against smoking. Most college campuses have some type of  “Smoke-Free” policy, these anti-smoke policies may apply to your fruit-flavored smoke just as much as they do cigarette/marijuana smoke.

It is important that you consider these factors before considering usage of e-cigarettes or vapes. Since there is still much to be learned regarding the health side-effects of these products, it is better to avoid them unless you are already someone who suffers from nicotine addiction from cigarettes.

These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

Shan Wu

Author Shan Wu

Shan’s professional and personal background gives him a unique understanding of academic institutions and the criminal justice system. A former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he is at home in D.C. Courts and very familiar with all of the Washington, D.C. law enforcement agencies, especially the Metropolitan Police Department. His parents were university professors so he grew up in a university environment. He understands the mindset of academic institutions. As a prosecutor, he supervised in the misdemeanor crime section. This is the section of the Washington, D.C. prosecutor’s office that handles most college student cases. His understanding of charging decisions and how judges view these cases is invaluable to his student clients and their families. Shan served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for over ten years. During his tenure there, now Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. appointed him to supervisory positions in the Misdemeanor Trial Section and also in a police corruption task force. His outstanding legal work in the government was recognized through numerous Special Achievement Awards from the Justice Department as well as awards conveyed by law enforcement agencies and community groups. From 1999-2000, Shan served as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal and civil investigations, E-Gov, E-Commerce (electronic signatures, internet gambling, internet telephony, privacy & public access issues in electronic court filings), congressional oversight, and legislative review. His responsibilities included serving as liaison to the FBI, DEA, Criminal Division, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, National Institute of Justice, and White House Counsel’s Office. Shan serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Hearing Committee of the Board on Professional Responsibility and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated Order of the Barristers, edited two law reviews, and was Co-Director of the Moot Court Program. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Following law school, he clerked for the late Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the late Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

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