Arizona’s ABC Channel 15, reported three new cases of vaping-related respiratory illnesses in Arizona following the uproar of six deaths linked to vaping in national news outlets. According to CNN, there are currently over 450 possible cases of vaping related illnesses in the nation.
Many citizens want vaping to evaporate because it is believed to probe as a danger to adolescents and young adults. The sweet captivating flavors that vaping products offer attracts young children and teenagers to get a taste, placing them in danger of its air gasping clapback.
The question arises if the media is taking this “vaping crisis” to an extreme, with the ongoing public issues of smoking and alcohol usage remaining as dangerous and unregulated. The government stands behind the retraction of the flavored pastime products to prevent underage abuse.
Cities like Goodyear, Arizona are planning efforts to push the legal age of vaping to the age of 21. Vaping to the vast majority of the public poses as a national issue that needs safety regulations.
Studies conducted on the federal level as well as through individual state health departments have discovered that some of the patients affected by vaping have reported that they used cannabinoid vaping products. Which has been reported to contain high levels of the chemical vitamin E acetate. According to CNN, all cases of death linked to vaping are associated with samples of the chemical Vitamin E acetate.
Vaping is highly familiarized and made popular from the likes of adolescents and young adults. Which in turn allows over 20 vape and smoke shops, to be located within a five mile radius of Mesa Community College centered amidst six junior high and high schools. This not even including other facilities that sell vaping products such as Wal-mart and Circle K.
What does the campus think?
Several students on campus shared their opinions on the “vaping crisis”.
Students were asked: “Do you think the media is overreacting about vaping why/ why not?”
Brianna Benson, Social Work major, Mesa Community College.
“Definitely not … because there’s a mass amount of young people and not just young people, young adults and adults who are continually vaping and smoking and they think the vaping is okay for them. But in reality, we don’t even know the complete outcomes as we do with cigarettes and I think that they may be blowing it up a lot, it’s being published a ton and so it may seem extreme but I think it is a concern and a cause that needs to be put out there because my mind goes straight to all those young people that are going to have a major decline in health.”
Naheema Shafau, Construction Management major, Mesa Community College.
“I do think it’s overreacting because people who smoke cigarettes, the number is vastly larger than those [that] are vaping. I think it’s a cleaner way to do it though, you know smoking in itself is intellectually wrong. We know that so, the media is definitely blowing it up and I think it’s in part because the tobacco companies are losing money those that do sell cigarettes. So that’s why people don’t want to buy the box cigarettes anymore. They’re leaning more towards the liquid and the vaping pen, either way it’s expensive on either front and not healthy, So yeah. I do feel like they’re overreacting six deaths compared to 50,000 + is a bit of an [overreaction] but would I prefer that somebody vaped around me versus smoking a box of cigarettes? Yes.”
Tatum Carlson, Psychology major, Mesa Community College.
“I don’t think it’s vaping I think it’s the THC carts because my friend’s dad is in the hospital right now with ammonia because of the cartridges not from vaping so, there are also those studies that came out … [afterward] that saying that all those kids [who have died] used the juul brand, that’s what they’re saying. But all of those kids also used THC cartridges. So, I don’t think it’s juul so much because they have been out for about four years, and THC carts are new now and I think it’s the THC carts because they are putting coconut oil into it, so that’s what’s giving people ammonia.”
Owen Jackson, Political Science major, Mesa Community College.
“From what I’ve heard, I’ve heard it was with mixing other stuff with it. So I haven’t researched this personally, but I honestly don’t know if the media is overreacting or not. I think it’s worth looking into though.”
Tomas Martin, Electrical Engineering major, Mesa Community College.
“No, not really. I think it is a pretty big concern because it’s a new trend [that] is going on. And with everyone trying to join into it, I think it should be avoided as much as possible. For teenagers or adults.”
Luke Nichols, Undecided, Mesa Community College
“I think it’s reasonable to have a concern about it because so many people are doing it nowadays, especially with what you were talking about, [about] the six kids who died or something. I think that’s something to react about because those are lives that are gone because of that so I don’t think they’re overreacting at all. I think it’s something that we need to be concerned about.”
Brianna Beck is a journalism student at Mesa Community College.