“Vaping Epidemic in UW-Whitewater

The vaping epidemic is taking over college campuses, and many more students are using electronic cigarettes each year. This is becoming a major problem as there has been an abundance of health issues across the state of Wisconsin within the past year due to vaping. Many colleges across the U.S. are already taking action as they have banned vaping products on college campuses. UW-Whitewater is looking to go down that path, yet has not taken any serious actions yet. 

The JUUL is the new popular alternative to smoking cigarettes and has been the trend for young kids and especially students. It is the size of a flash drive, yet one JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Many kids have become hooked and do not seem to mind the nicotine addiction that comes from these e-cigarettes. Even non-smokers are starting to abuse the JUUL as they want to be a part of the new trend across America. 

Caleb Dahse, a business management senior, said he started smoking cigarettes when he was 18 years-old. He felt that tobacco took control of his body, so he then switched to JUUL about two years ago. He hopes to eventually quite smoking in general, yet he does not mind the vaping sensation. 

“I think JUUL is more addicting than cigarettes in my opinion,” Dahse said. “It helps me stay focused and also helps me in stressful situations.” 

Students feel that the JUUL gives them a sense of relief when it comes to upcoming tests and projects and helps them focus on the task at hand. Whether it be before class or after class, it has become a part of their daily lives and they feel that it does not affect them at all. Although, none of these addicted abusers understand what these pods are made out of other than nicotine and have no clue how it is affecting their body. 

Michael Frasher, CEO of ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials) and member of the American Lung Association, expressed how many teens and college students are using vaping products because think it is the better alternative to cigarettes, yet they contain chemicals that can do the exact same amount of harm or far worse to your body and lungs. 

“Both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which researchers are gathering studies that show it may be as addictive as cocaine and heroin usage, and can be a major problem for young kids as they get older,” says Frasher. 

Frasher is encouraging students to take a “No Nicotine November” as November is the national lung cancer awareness month, this will help give students a push to get all nicotine products out of their life for good. 

Many organizations on the UW-Whitewater campus have been taking action in vape prevention and has plans to put an end to this epidemic in the near future. 

The UW-Whitewater CHIP (Communicating Health in Practice) organization works to build awareness across campus about the health issues that are current in today’s society and creates campus health-related promotional events to educate the students and help them live a healthier lifestyle. 

Katrina Montesano, an active member of the CHIP organization spoke on vaping awareness on college campuses and stated that, “these kids do not realize what harmful chemicals they are putting in their lungs… There are so many students that are abusing the JUUL and many other nicotine products and there hasn’t even been enough studies to truly tell what the long-term effects are,”

“This is for sure a major problem and will continue to be a major problem until these vaping products are banned on college campuses.”

The CHIP organization is looking for students to join and spread awareness on the health concerns of vaping across the UW-Whitewater campus and hopes to put an end to JUUL usage. On November 19-21, from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. the CHIP organization is holding a bake sale in the University Center to spread awareness and raise money to support men’s health initiatives. If interested in CHIP, then stop by during these hours to enjoy delicious treats and talk about health awareness. 

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