Ending the nicotine

Age requirement change may lead to the end of teen vaping

Story by Joseph Asher, staff writer

Vaping is a phenomenon that has swept the world, leaving many teens with damaged lungs, respiratory issues and, in severe cases, death. 

In today’s world, the rise in interest of e-cigs amongst teenagers has lead to nicotine addiction, and illnesses are sprouting from this unhealthy habit.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has seen how vaping has affected teens in America and has proposed a bill that will raise the age it is legal to buy tobacco and e-cig products from 18 to 21. 

This rise in the age requirement is intended to reduce the number of highschool teens vaping and help reduce the purchase of e-cigs amongst the younger generations, as recent deaths of numerous teens across the country are due to the addictiveness of vaping and the oil in juices in vapes.  

To ensure that this new law be enforced, vape and tobacco stores are required to put an age of sale sign and have to scan ids before selling the items. 

Some states have even gone as far as banning vapes and some cigarettes entirely, as the vaping epidemic has worsened over the years causing hundreds of people to suffer from illnesses like popcorn lungs, a condition that ruins lungs and cannot be fixed. 

“I think raising the age requirement was a good idea, but I think making it illegal for teens just makes them want to do it more,” junior Korie Hamilton said. “The only way to prevent teen vaping and to help reduce the number of deaths from vaping is to get rid of vapes as a whole.”

Even the tobacco and vape companies that many teens purchase their vapes from are in support of the proposed and new bills, as they wish to get away from the controversy of numerous teen deaths due to vaping. 

“I think it is a good idea to change the age,” senior Alexis Bolden said. “And at this point it will help prevent teen vaping, but, then again, teens will always find a way around the system for buying or getting access to tobacco and vape related products.”

Nonetheless, steps are being made to help put an end to the vaping crisis and changing the age requirement is just one of the larger steps towards ending it.