Anonymous student shares reasons why they use vapor devices

Tristan Allen, Editor-in-Chief

A 2018 survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that over 20 percent of tenth and 12th grade students vaped in the last month prior to the survey, and the same survey found that over 30 percent of students in the same group used a vapor device at least once in their lifetime.

Due to the fact that e-cigarettes and other vapor devices have nicotine, an addictive drug found in cigarettes, Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, declared teen vaping as an “epidemic.”

Why do students vape? The answer can vary person by person, but Robin, a student who agreed to an interview in exchange for anonymity, shared their experiences using vapor devices.

Robin started vaping in their freshman year after seeing other people doing so.

“I just wanted to see what it was all about,” Robin said. Since then, he managed to fit around one hit per day.

“If I’m not doing anything, I’ll hit it,” Robin said. Robin also noted that his “hits” are not big hits.

There is a variety of vapor products, and Robin claimed to have “really tried everything at this point.”

Despite the fact that seven out of 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette marketing according to another survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Robin claims that advertising did not influence them to vape, but rather “[their] surroundings that influenced [them].”

Even after more than a year, Robin still vapes.

“It’s something I’m used to,” Robin said.

Robin does acknowledge that there are health risks that come with the use of vapor devices.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 66 percent of teen e-cigarette users say that their device only has flavoring, and another 13.7 percent say that they are unsure of what they consume. Only 13.2 percent of teen users say that nicotine is an ingredient in their e-cigarette.

Robin said that they themself “know the chemicals that are in [their e-cigarette].”

As a student, Robin attended some of the school’s advisory lessons about the dangers and risks of vaping. Robin did not have any praise.

“I feel like [the lessons are] kind of pointless,” Robin said, “They’re more worried about us doing it in school.”

The lessons do not convince Robin to stop vaping. If Robin were to stop vaping, there would need to be some kind of negative impact.

“If I don’t see it affecting my life, I don’t see any reason to stop,” Robin said.

While Robin does not plan to stop vaping “right now,” they did say that they might stop vaping “within the year.”

“[Vaping is] not something I’m doing my entire life,” Robin said.

If Robin were to quit vaping, they would “feel like [they] have a lot of support.”


Disclaimer: The Eyrie does not support the use of vapor devices and or other drugs, nor do the Olathe Schools. If you feel you are addicted, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hotline: 1-800-662-4357