The Effects of Vaping on Teens


Recent cases of teens hospitalized show that every single teen was only vaping for the months–or even weeks–leading up to their hospitalization.

Micah Fisher, Staff Writer

The past few years, there has been a lot of controversy about the effects of vaping on teens, both health and social issues. Some people say there are no negative effects and this is not an issue. However, some strongly believe that vaping is worse than smoking and teens should not engage in this activity. In this article, I hope to soften this conflict a little bit by stating the facts and educating more people on the effects of vaping. I will also be taking a poll of how many students think vaping is harmless and how many believe it’s very unhealthy.

Recently, there have been headlines about a supposed “vaping-related illness” in the U.S. A study, published October 2 in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that these illnesses are most likely caused by toxic chemical fumes that come from vaping. TOXIC FUMES, that is not a good thing. Constantly putting these toxic fumes into your system is slowly tearing apart and damaging your lungs. This conclusion is based on an analysis of lung biopsies from 17 patients across the U.S. Some people may say, in contrast, that this damage to the lungs is caused by lipids (structural components of cell membranes), but study senior author Dr. Brandon Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, said in a statement, “While we can’t discount the potential role of lipids, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a problem caused by lipid accumulation in the lungs…Instead, it seems to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what one might see with exposures to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases, and toxic agents.”

You may be thinking, Why should I care? Those are adults who have been vaping way longer than I have. Well, that’s not necessarily true. It may seem this way; however, recent cases of teens hospitalized show that every single teen was only vaping for the months–or even weeks–leading up to their hospitalization. They all came in sick, weak, and unable to breathe. Dr. Louella Amos, a pediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “It was alarming to have, over a short period of time, eight previously healthy teens come in very sick, unable to breathe, with weight loss, looking as if they had some sort of chronic lung disease when they didn’t.”

I asked 31 students here at GEHS to take a poll and say if they think that vaping is fine, or if it is harmful. 74.2% of these students said that they think vaping is harmful, and 26.7% said that they think vaping is fine. I did not ask for names or explanations, but these percentages are actually as I expected. Most students here know the effects of vaping, but choose to vape anyways. 

From the evidence I have found, I have come to the conclusion that vaping is harmful. It allows toxins into your system that destroy your lungs and affect your breathing ability. Many teens and adults have already been hospitalized due to results of vaping. Doctors are beginning to worry that vaping has already gone too far. Nineteen people nationwide have already died and even more are under close watch in emergency rooms. This is a serious issue, and we need to know the facts so we can prevent more incidents.