Editorial: We get it, you vape

If one were to talk to both boys and girls, everyone would have the same feeling. Vaping is an epidemic. If you walk into any bathroom at any hour of the day, there is a very, very high probability that you will encounter someone inhaling cancerous vapor from a small handheld device. One wonders if it used to be like this with cigarettes twenty years ago.
Although Dr. Pernick sent an email out to the parents that the school will be equipping the hallways with more cameras and other devices of the like to catch students vaping in the bathroom, little has changed. The funny thing is that it isn’t just those who are in detention every other day that are performing these acts in the bathroom.
The amount of students that both possess a vape pen and bring them to school is nothing short of extraordinary. Big Tobacco and other addiction-abusing companies have done a great job securing the future generation as customers. Yes, the number of smokers has decreased to an all time low according to the CDC, but a great deal of these new non-smokers have been replaced by users of vaporized nicotine.
The issue at hand is not the fact that students are breaking school rules. The issue is that kids are becoming actively addicted to nicotine products and are creating a future for themselves in which they will forever be dependent on that nicotine.
The school needs to make it a priority not to catch and punish bathroom vapers, but to make available non-judgmental meetings and resources for our school’s nicotine addicts. These students have no idea what they’re doing to their bodies because insufficient research has been done as of now, but the addictive nature of vape pens is definitely harmful. Instead of listing immediate detention for possession of such products and immediate suspension for use, the school should offer attendance to informational sessions about the dangers of smoking and use of nicotine in which a surplus of gruesome images depicting black sets of lungs and decayed teeth are shown. We must come together to diminish the availability of these products.
Many students obtain these products online, as you can order and simply sign for them at the door without having to show any identification. Stricter legislation should be passed to limit the online sale of such goods in an effort to quell the addiction epidemic ravaging the lungs of our youth.
More concerted efforts are necessary to nip the use of nicotine products in the bud. Punishing students will not stop them from smoking, but education will.