The drawbacks of student e-cigarette use

Matthew Stranzl, Reporter

Every time I enter the boys bathroom, whether during a break or during class time, there’s always a group of five or so young man taking hits off their vaporizers.

I never understood the hype around those things, the few times I was peer pressured into a hit resulted in a disoriented mental state with no real reward.

I’d never done them, but I imagined that was how smoking cigarettes would feel, and I wondered why exactly these things are the current trend.

These things I’m referring to aren’t just any vaporizers (which are usually pricey and cumbersome) but the Pax Juul, a handheld device small in size but packing a deceptively big punch.

Juuls are shaped like USB drives and fit comfortably into pant pockets, allowing them to keep a low profile so students can evade administrators.

Juuls were designed to help tobacco smokers ease their addiction, so Marin County teenagers are an unintended market.

They appear innocuous and childishly harmless, coming in a smorgasbord of flavors straight out of a candy shop. This lessens the stigma associated with tobacco use, but this appearance is deceiving.

Pax’s Labs warning “no tobacco or e-liquid product should ever be considered ‘safe’” is listed on the packaging, a disclaimer more people should pay attention to.

If you want to put toxins in your bloodstream that’s fine with me, I just think that users should be educated about what it is they’re, instead of blindly chasing an adrenaline rush.

Vaporizing in general operates in a cloudy gray area, unregulated by the FDA. However, scientific research has been done of Juuls contents.

The compounds that give Juuls their flavor and preserve the components are harmless, but the inclusion of nicotine isn’t.

Nicotine stimulates the cardiovascular system, constricting blood vessels and leads to hypertension.

It’s also a chronotropic agent, increasing the heart rate and causing arrhythmias, irregular heart rates which can have lethal implications.

Nicotine is also correlated to insulin resistance, increasing the likelihood of contracting metabolic syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The cause of all these complications in nicotine’s ability to affect the glucose metabolism, which in turn leads to hypo and hyperglycemia.

Nicotine also wreaks havoc on hormone systems, including but not limited to the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands.

I don’t mean to come across pretentious with this article. Teenagers seek quick escapes from reality, I’ve been there and I’m okay with it.

I just feel like Juul users should be more conscious of what they’re doing. Getting domed is amusing but nicotine’s effects on the body isn’t.