Vaping is probably the number one epidemic for young adults and teenagers that is now widely known. Reports have been released daily on how harmful vaping is through teens and young adults that have had a vaping device explode in their face, die, or have respiratory problems. There's a nationwide movement coming after vaping companies and the harmful chemicals, flavors, and nicotine in their vapor products. T
he media's attention on the topic of vaping even got the attention of the President. Donald Trump says that he wants to crack down on vaping but in the past two days has reversed his stance says that he wants to investigate if vaping is a safe alternative to cigarettes.
Over the summer, the state of Virginia banned the purchase and distribution of all vapor products for all people under the age of 21. However, if you are in the military, anyone over the age of 18 can still buy vapor products. Since vaping is popular among the 18-21 age group, as a college student, a vaping environment was the norm. However, from personal experience, vaping culture on campus has changed since last semester.
Last semester and last year, vaping was present everywhere. It was in dorms, libraries, and pretty much everywhere you walked outside, The most disturbing part about this is having to breathe it in. Having to breathe a cloud of vapor in while studying at the library was disturbing to see so many students wasting their life expectancy and money down the toilet. Vaping was the number one reason I stopped studying at the library, and moved to an open space with less nooks and crannies to hide. Vaping is still present at college parties but a lot less today walking to class or in a common area.
Last year to this year was a total transformation on how I saw the vaping environment change for the better on campus. I went from seeing numerous clouds of vapor to hardly not seeing any at all during the day. The new Virginia law is a relief knowing that I won't have to breathe in pollution that is harmful. It also gives me satisfaction that I now have a choice on what I want to breathe in.
CNN interviewed 10 college students on how vaping affected them. One girl said, "I could tell it was making me feel worse body-wise and head-wise. I was getting a lot more anxious, but then also my joints and my lungs hurt more." Another student said, "You could literally do it[vape] at any point in the day, like when you were doing homework. So it was so easy in that sense." As the article continues, there's a trend that emerges: college student who vape do not care about their health. With recent reports on the damages of vaping, they know it's bad, but keep repeating their vaping or nicotine addiction regularly.
It's amazing how one change in the Virginia law can save the health of many. It's important that we keep the conversation going so the college students that still vape can always see quitting as an option.