By REBEKAH BROWN
As tobacco use among teenagers increases, school boards around the country are fighting against it. In an attempt to help with the problem, Mrs. Daugherty, the assistant principal of Cranberry Jr./Sr. High School, received anti-vaping posters from The Real Cost that were displayed throughout the school. Mrs. Daugherty provided her thoughts in hopes of further educating students about the meaning behind the posters.
“I believe the posters will help with awareness. They are pretty catchy, and certainly geared towards a high school aged student. They might make students think twice about their actions. It’s certainly not gonna hurt anything, and I would hope that it would help some.”
Logan McFarland, a senior at Cranberry, stated, “The anti-vaping posters will give students more insight on the dangers of vaping, as many are uninformed on how it can negatively affect their health.”
In 2017, nearly 6 of every 100 middle school students and nearly 20 of every 100 high school students reported current use of some type of tobacco product.
Teenagers seem to be unaware of the numerous risks involved with tobacco products. Tobacco use poses several health risks, some of which include emphysema, cancer, frequent colds, chronic bronchitis, strokes, and heart disease. Most vapes contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance that can negatively impact youth brain development. Side effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, lung disease, chronic bronchitis, and insulin resistance which leads to Type 2 Diabetes.
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
As stated in Cranberry’s student handbook, possession and use of tobacco products and tobacco look-a-likes, electronic cigarettes and paraphernalia is a level three violation. Violations will result in subject to prosecution in accordance with Act 145 and to a fine for students.
Rebekah Brown and Lindsay Perry are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications group.