The Rise of Vaping and the Consequences- by Josh Fontaine (12)

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Electronic cigarettes, or more popularly known as ‘vapes,’ are on the rise, and Grandville High School is no exception. This is where Mr. Karpowitz, the Security Officer at GHS, comes into play. Before vapes were all the rage, Mr. Karpowitz’s biggest troubles were students parking in the Athletic Entrance and slowing down hallway speedsters, but this is no longer the case. What began as a product to help smoker’s break their deadly habit has quickly turned into a recreational object used by teens to obtain a quick ‘buzz.’ At Grandville High School, there’s been a upward trend.

When asked if he’s noticed this trend, Mr. Karpowitz responded by saying, “Absolutely. The trend has been almost exponential over the last four or so years, and in the last couple years, I’ve had to confiscate more underclassmen vapes than ever before.” Weekly, vape confiscation is fairly sporadic. Some weeks Mr. Karpowitz might not have to take a single vape, but there’s been some weeks where his total has reached double digits. Annually, the trend is constantly rising.

Repercussions of vapes don’t only impact the user, but they can also have an effect on the user’s peers. An anonymous GHS students claims, “I used to have a very close-knit group of friends, but eventually, things changed. We split in half: the people who vaped versus the people who didn’t,” an anonymous source shared. “Now I barely make eye-contact with these ex-friends, and it’s all because of vaping.”

For numerous students, the typical consequence that the school imposes is a couple of detentions, but for athletes, they lose a lot more than thirty minutes before or after school. Athletes who have been training for years, eagerly anticipating high school sports, can instantly shorten their seasons by making the conscious decision to vape. “My sophomore year I got in trouble for vaping,” says an anonymous student-athlete, “and let me tell you that it was not worth it. Everyone instantly found out about it and my reputation was flawed. It sucked big time.”

Another anonymous student-athlete who is also a big time GHS sports fan commented on this subject by saying, “I also don’t see the point of vaping. I hate seeing guys and girls being sidelined for doing this.”

We cannot control the national average for teen vaping, but we can control what we do at Grandville High School. Let’s not just be another statistic. Let’s not conform to society’s standards. Let’s do better, and let’s be better. The risks highly outweigh the rewards when it comes to vaping, so we have to ask ourselves, “Is it really worth it?”

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