Vaping and its Effect on Teens


Juhee Desai, Co-Editor

People know that vaping is bad for you; however, this does not stop many teens from doing it. Have you ever wondered why? I talked to a few of my fellow teenagers to learn more about this topic and learned that peer pressure and (especially) stress are two of the many reasons teens worldwide choose to participate in this habit. 


First, I interviewed a close friend who is also in high school in Raleigh. They said, “I always had a lot of pressure from school and sports, and one day, my friend offered me a vape, and after I started, I felt so relaxed and stress-free. It significantly reduced my anxiety, and now I find it difficult to stop. My anxiety [comes] back if I don’t vape for a certain time.” Another one of my friends said this to me during our interview: “I know about the bad things vaping does to me, but if I stop, I have no other way not to feel stressed. Yes, I know vaping is bad for my health, but it makes me feel better.”


Although some students use vaping to solve one problem–stress–it can create new problems since vaping does drastic things to your body both physically and emotionally. Science shows that vaping causes athletes to perform worse. Athletes that vape may find themselves increasingly short of breath, with wheezing affecting their endurance. After a certain point, an athlete who vapes could find their performance decrease so much that they are cut from the team, which may not be worth it. Aside from the physical risks are the emotional ones like dependency and depression. One of the students I interviewed said, “The last time I quit, I felt lonelier and more depressed than ever. I felt like I was alone with nobody to support me.” 


I do not believe how society is trying to prevent and treat vaping is practical. So what can we do to protect our friends and peers? Instead of having sessions and presentations about how vaping is addictive and causes health problems, we should focus on treating the things that cause teens to vape. High school is an anxiety-prone environment for all teenagers, and without the proper support to navigate their feelings, vaping may be the only thing to relax them. Teachers and counselors should focus on helping these teens redirect their feelings into positive outlets, such as providing a safe environment for students to talk and possibly creating a less stressful school environment, instead of droning on about the adverse health effects; while the damaging effects are real, students simply don’t care, or they prioritize their mental health over their physical health. 


Altogether, vaping does (anecdotally) help with stress and pressure, but it is not worth the toll it takes on your body and health. If you’ve been tempted to start vaping to control stress, I encourage you to try something else such as reaching out to close friends and family or finding different activities that relax your mind like exercising, watching TV, or spending time outdoors.