Steps to Decrease Vape Pen use is being put into action

A set of vape pens.  Photo From: Ebay.com
A set of vape pens.
Photo From: Ebay.com

Vape pens are a literal representation of what the name entails- they’re pens that heat a cartridge filled with purified cannabis oil and other smoke able substances, allowing users a discreet alternative to smoking a marijuana cigarette.

The number of pot smokers has drastically increased over the past few years. According to the National Department of Health and Human Services the number of pot smokers increases by about 6,600 new members each day. The number of Vape pens sold has also steeply inclined. One company, Open Vape, sells about 270,000 pens each month leaving them hopeful that it will be a billion dollar company in the next two years.

Many people say that Vape Pens offer up a safe alternative to Marijuana cigarettes, much like an E cigarette does with smoking. The vaporizers theoretically avoid setting the weed aflame by heating it just enough to produce vapor, not smoke. Alongside this, it can be used with other medicinal substances such as chamomile.

However, the lure for this ‘safe’ alternative is not just reaching adults. Studies show that many teenagers have also succumbed to utilizing the vape pens. Ten percent of High School students nationwide said that they had tried e-cigarettes in 2012 and according to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who’ve tried one said that they’ve never smoked a ‘real’ cigarette. There have also been many reports of students using such pens in their classes since they don’t generate any strong smelling smoke.

But, with this increase of use the question remains: are these safe alternatives really as safe as they appear to be? Though Vape Pens are still relatively new and health experts have not fully began to grasp exactly the affect they have on the people of society, studies would lean more towards the answer no. They show that ten minutes of smoking an e-cigarette does cause a noticeable difference in airway resistance in the lungs. This is because e-cigarettes still contain nicotine; you only get to choose the amount you want. Since the two types of alternative smoking devices are so similar, we can only assume that the vape pens produce such negative effects.

Personally, I don’t think that there’s much of a point to these devices, seeing as it doesn’t produce the high that you would get smoking marijuana. I think people are just excited because it’s new.

Whether there are negative effects associated with them or not, the concept of the vape pen has been floating around campus over the past year. I talked to some students about their experience regarding the vape pens. “Personally, I don’t think that there’s much of a point to these devices, seeing as it doesn’t produce the high that you would get smoking marijuana. I think people are just excited because it’s new.” One student offers. Another interjects, “Yeah, I’ve actually tried the vape pens and I would agree. Vape pens are pretty stupid, especially if they cause harm to you.” Both students sought to remain anonymous.

Though there are many contrasting opinions on the vape pens one fact cannot be ignored: staff and administration are now much more aware of the appearance of vape pens on our campus and are seeking to eradicate them from SLV.

-Katrina Luque

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