Vaping decreases amongst teens in FCPS

The annual Fairfax County Youth Survey which depicted data from 48,915 students in grades sixth, eighth, 10th, and 12th, found that students in the county are vaping less than others across the nation.

“I suspect vaping has declined due to the fact there is more advertising about the harms involved and the age to be able to purchase has been raised,” Health and P.E. teacher Katleen Ayers said. “During the pandemic, it was not as accessible initially. Many people were stuck home with stores not open, now their sources may be more readily available.”

Because Coronavirus attacks your lungs and immune system, it may discourage teens, and people in general, from vaping or smoking.

Especially during the pandemic, it is more important not to be smoking since it can leave you more vulnerable to COVID. Furthermore, since vaping also weakens your immune system, it will also make it more difficult to fight off disease.

One of the key differences between regular smoking and vaping is that vape pods can contain flavoring such as fruit, candy and mint which is more appealing for teens, leading them to become more addicting and wanting even more.

Fortunately, nearly half of the number of students that proclaimed using flavoring in this year’s survey at 5.5% compared to the previous year’s survey which was 10.3%

“Vaping is not seen as gross as cigarettes because it tastes and smells better,” Ayers said. “Hopefully, with vaping products being less available and the harmful effects starting to be shared there will continue to be a decrease.”

Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can even harm parts of the adolescent brain that control attention and learning.

“Since teenagers are heavily influenced or peer pressured by their friends, and we have been doing virtual classes, I think the amount of vaping will probably continue to decline,” junior Robert Hall said.

In general, vaping has many factors that lead teens to partake in it and become more addicted, so it is important to be aware of what is inside the products and stay away.