Vaping Impact on the Field and Classroom

Peyton Hull, Staff Writer

One of the most prominent issues within high schoolers is the alarming increase in high school vape users. According to the CDC, as of 2021, 1 out of every 9 high school students had reported that they had used an electronic vaping device in the past 30 days (about 11% of students had vaped). This a definite increase compared to the 2.4% of students who vaped in 2019; it has increased by 420% in the past 2 years.

What types of behavioral changes are being recorded? The spike in vape users has been accompanied by a significant increase in lack of attention span, motivations to be active, and mood disorders in general (CDC). This is negatively impacting students in the classroom because of the lack of willingness to pay attention and get work done. Behavioral issues are also causing already hormonal teenagers to have greater angst. A harmful effect physically of these devices is the effects on the brain, which continues to develop into the mid 20’s. Nicotine can alter the way that synapses in the brain are formed, thus harming the parts of the brain that are in charge of controlling attention and learning. Vaping directly impacts students in the classroom.

Additional risks of vaping include nicotine addiction, permanent lowering of impulse control and damaging of lungs. Emerging data suggests that vaping is connecting more links to chronic lung disease, as well as asthma. 20 “puffs” of a vape is equivalent to 1 cigarette. When these kids who’s lungs are still developing are breathing in an average of 140 puffs of these vaping devices a day, they are essentially smoking the equivalent to 7 cigarettes per day (CDC). Of course, in turn, these vaping habits are going to cause doctors to see more and more asthma and damaged lungs in our athletes. Performance will be lessened with these increases in vaping teenagers, it is no doubt.  When you vape, you expose yourself willingly to all kinds of chemicals that we don’t yet understand and are not yet safe.