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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Puff, puff, but I’ll pass

Vaping leads to lifelong addiction
Alec Tulio

Teens and kids may develop a lifelong addiction to vaping after just one hit, which may lead to physical and mental battles throughout their lives. Vaping has taken the 21st century by storm and its success is unlikely to plateau in years to come.

Timmy, who preferred to use a pseudonym for this article, reported that he has been addicted to vaping for four years. “My first hit was in high school, about ninth grade, actually, in the bathroom with what was then a senior… I didn’t know what I would be getting myself into now, sitting here as a senior addicted to vaping…”

When I didn’t have money I would lie to my mom, telling her I’m getting food, or I would steal it from her wallet.

— Billy

The idea of quitting has crossed Timmy’s mind, but he claims it’s an impossible task. The sensation of seeing the smoke come out of his mouth soothes his cravings.

“It’s more the habit of putting it in your mouth than the nicotine. When I go out I don’t crave a cigarette, or nicotine gum, it’s really just seeing the vapor flow out of my mouth that gets me excited.” Timmy added, “If I don’t vape within a day the withdrawals and cravings will drive me crazy… It’s really unfortunate for all the headaches I have endured.”

Teens and kids can become addicted after just one puff, which could lead to a lifelong addiction of inhaling toxic chemicals and metals. Eating his lunch, Timmy counts the minutes away, tick by tick, as he cannot wait to hit his vape in the bathroom. Disengaged with the students in front of him, one thought trickles through Timmy’s mind: “When should I go to the bathroom without teachers suspecting me of anything?”

Having a nicotine addiction is expensive. Not only are you hurting yourself physically, it also drains your mental health. Without enough money to buy a new vape, withdrawal sets in and so do feelings of violence and sadness. The dangers of vaping can play a detrimental role on your mental health just like your physical health.

Billy, who also preferred to use a pseudonym, states his hardest battle was the mental side effects he continues to endure. Vaping has changed the way his brain works. Nicotine crosses his mind daily, and sometimes, that’s all he can think about. He continues to have withdrawals and mood swings when he doesn’t have a vape because the nicotine has changed the wiring in his brain.

“When I first started vaping in middle school, I didn’t understand the effect it would have on me for years to come.” Billy added, “I remember playing my sport and thinking about the vape I had in my backpack at that time. It’s crazy to think that my vape crossed my mind while playing a sport. In that specific time period, I didn’t think that was strange. I just thought about the excitement it gives me.”

The nicotine in vapes is so powerful that it makes a person think about vaping while doing a physical activity. When someone who vapes is bored, something that keeps them busy is hitting their vape.

During quarantine, vaping was prevalent even when the world was shut down. Billy was a freshman during quarantine and even then he couldn’t quit. “When quarantine hit my freshman year of high school, that’s when I knew I was addicted to vaping. I would log onto my classes and after the long days, I would bike to a gas station where I knew they would sell to me. I was going through 2 vapes a week which is roughly $40” said Billy, now a senior. “I think with addiction you also gain bad characteristics. When I didn’t have money I would lie to my mom, telling her I’m getting food, or I would steal it from her wallet, but that only happened a few times. To me, having an addiction also means being willing to lie in order to feed your addiction.” Lastly, Billy added, “I have been addicted for five years now. Vaping and owning vapes is expensive. One thing I never really understood was how easy it was to get vapes underage.”

The imbalance one feels is a direct consequence of addiction. If someone is addicted to something, they will go through extreme measures to please it. Lying and stealing are two common things one would see with addiction. Addiction leads to many bad habits.

“No, I can’t see myself stopping. I just can’t. I would feel like a piece of me is missing,” stated Billy.

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About the Contributor
Alec Tulio, Staff Writer
Alec is currently a senior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. He spends most of his time working in a restaurant and helping teach young kids how to play soccer. His passion is to work as a financial advisor at his uncle's firm during his senior internship. He also loves his dog, whose name is Jax.
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