Up In Smoke: North Atlanta’s Vaping Problem


Up in Smoke! Juuls take over North Atlanta High School.

If there’s one thing that teachers and students can agree on, it’s that vaping and drugs are making a strong comeback in high schools across America. The very first e-cigarette (electronic cigarette) was created in 2003 by a man named Hon Lik as a means to help smokers quit their deadly habit. 16 years later, e-cigarettes have almost an entirely new purpose: introducing high-school and college aged kids to the “wonderful” world of nicotine. 

Juul, the most popular brand of e-cigarette on the market right now, has received tons of backlash since the company’s debut in 2017. Like Lik, the company’s mission was to help current smokers break their habit, but instead, the company’s main consumers are teenagers desperately trying to getting a pleasant buzz. In order to buy a Juul, you have to be 18, but that isn’t stopping these nicotine-hungry students. There’s an underground black market for Juuls and pods in high schools across America. “I don’t Juul personally, but I’ve made at least $200 selling pods since last year,” said an anonymous male senior.

Teachers are constantly bringing up the no vaping policy, but no one listens. The school bathrooms are regarded as a safe haven for nicotine addicts alike and provide a semi-safe place for them to get buzzed with their friends. It seems to be almost impossible to get caught smoking in this school if you have an average amount of common sense. No matter what new rules and searches the administration will try to reduce Juul usage in our school, students will still find ways to sneak a smoke break every couple class periods. “I can’t go more than a few hours without my Juul or I’ll start getting anxious,” said an anonymous female sophomore.

After roughly two years of vape culture getting normalized in high schools across America, the long-term side effects are starting to reveal themselves. Chance Ammirata, an 18-year-old from Florida, has been in the media spotlight lately as he was rushed to the emergency room last week for a collapsed lung due to excessive vaping. Now he and a growing group of supporters are taking a stand against Juul. “There’s such a stereotype that it’s safe and my whole reason for speaking out is to warn people that it’s not safe,” said Ammirata to DailyMail. 

Maybe the health experts are right. Want to save yourself from the possibility of your lungs collapsing and potential respiratory problems for the rest of your life? Then maybe it’s time for you to put down your Juuls.