It’s Not Cuul to Juul in Schuul

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It’s Not Cuul to Juul in Schuul

TBEC Review [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

TBEC Review [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

TBEC Review [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Alex Collins and Matt Smith

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*Due to the sensitive nature of the article, students spoke under the condition of anonymity.

The administration at Greely High School is trying to address the epidemic of vaping that is affecting schools across the country.  For the past three years, vaping among teenagers has increased as e-cigarettes and other vape products have become easily accessible to many teens.  

99% of vape products sold in stores contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals that are negatively impacting students who can get their hands on them. Nicotine is especially dangerous in the younger years because of its effects on brain development. Nicotine affects the brain’s ability to learn and develop new habits and behaviors until the age of 25 when brain development stops, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Assistant Principal Mr. Gray, who is the administrator in charge of most vaping related incidents, said the standard consequence for vaping is a one day in school suspension and the parent is called.  Mr. Gray’s efforts go beyond just handing down punishment, however.  He also offers support to students. For example, he refers the student to Casco Bay CAN if they are addicted to vaping and they want help quitting or need any other substance abuse support.   

“I’m worried about how we help students quit,” said Mr. Gray.

Additionally,  Resource Officer Mazuzan is usually involved because he likes to keep track of the vaping incidents that occur at school. But keeping track of the incidents that take place in school is a hard task for administrators and catching students is even harder. 

“It’s so hard. Unless you walk in on it, it’s easy to conceal and the cloud dissipates so quickly and there’s nothing left behind,” said Officer Mazuzan.

While many students at Greely do partake in using products such as Juul to vape, other students recognize the health risks and tend to shy away from vaping.  This includes many athletes. 

 “I want to maintain my physical health,” said one freshman.  

Other students also recognize the lack of maturity of those who do vape.

“It’s very immature to do it in general, and at school the consequences may be higher,” said one sophomore.  

However some students are unaware of or ignore the consequences of vaping.

“Nothing beats a good head buzz” one sophomore said. 

Some students who have vaped were able to quit with the help of school resources and self-motivation.  Other students found that they had to quit because of a lack of  vape products. According to officer Mazuzan, students either access vape products by themselves, from an inside source in school, or an outside source. The consequences for distributing in school are similar to being caught with or using a vape product. 

To eliminate the amount of students vaping at Greely, Principal Hoffman and Assistant Principal Gray have tried to increase school surveillance by asking teachers to be bathroom monitors.   Teachers now visit a  student bathroom, one of the most popular places students vape, once a day to make sure students aren’t loitering or vaping. 

In the end, the administration is doing everything it can to prevent a further increase in vaping over the coming years.

“I hope all students feel like they have the power to say no to vaping,” said Principal Hoffman.  

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