Past generations have had their fair share of teen nicotine addiction, but nothing as discrete as the vapor products we have today. Teen nicotine addiction was decreasing in America for the first time in years as cigarette popularity was on the decline. The introduction of vapor products has brought many new variables into the picture when it comes to limiting vapor products on school grounds. Here at Woodland Park High School to students there is an obvious problem. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services in 2017, 18% of the high schoolers interviewed reported vaping within the last 30 days. Our high school performed a survey last week about a similar topic. The survey demonstrated that only 12% of students surveyed reported not knowing any teens who vape.
There is a wide variety of opinions on vaping among the student body, however, most of the students here at Woodland Park High School don’t have much of an opinion. Students aren’t shy to say that they know many other students vape often. We asked a student how she feels about her classmates vaping, she said, “I think that it’s stupid that kids want to use that in school. As long as their parents are okay with it and their home life is okay with it, then it is fine to use outside of school”. Another student responded with, “I think it’s well over used and a lot of kids do it in secret…”. Other students are more concerned with the health aspect of vaping, one student says, “I think that the only thing that should be going into your lungs is oxygen”. Among students not many have a strong opinion on vaping at school.
The presence of vapor products at Woodland Park High School is very apparent. Students are aware and so are many instructors. We spoke with Mrs. Johnston a guidance counselor about this topic. She stressed the importance of educating students, Johnston says, “As counselors our job is to inform”. Mrs. Johnston shares her empathy and care for the students here at Woodland Park High School. The counselors wish to provide information that will allow them to make educated and safe decisions. Christie Cornell, a security member at the high school says, “Kids are getting smarter…they’re hiding it better, they are more aware”. Now that there has been more disciplinary action students have become more discrete. After speaking with officer Gieman, it is obvious that the authority here at Woodland Park High School are cracking down on vaping. Gieman provides information that could be helpful to students, Gieman writes, “Currently, possession of any nicotine product by a juvenile is a violation of city ordinance considered a Misdemeanor crime. Furnishing any nicotine product to a juvenile is a violation of state statute as well and punishable with a fine of $200.00”. Not only is their a misdemeanor attached to having nicotine products at school, there will also be in school suspension as well as other disciplinary actions.