With all these vaping-related deaths, some still believe in its safety


Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

For years, big tobacco has used shady tactics to get Americans hooked on nicotine.

In fact, smoking cigarettes is the number one cause of preventable death in the nation, responsible for over 480,000 deaths every year according to the CDC. Now, the nation is experiencing a new form of nicotine addiction and health hazards: vaping.

Vape use has skyrocketed recently, especially among students here at Chico State, ever since the makers of Juul released a small USB-like device that allows users to inhale nicotine-laced vapor.

When asked if vaping has seen an increase on campus, Kate Mahler, director of CADEC, said, “Yes, it started to become an issue in 2015, but it is not nearly on the same scale as it is today.”

Vaping touts itself as a safer alternative to cigarettes, and many companies such as Juul Labs state that their mission is to help adult smokers switch to their “healthier” method of smoking. However, all across the nation, multiple deaths have been reported in 26 states with direct connections to vaping, potentially impacting students’ health in a dangerous way.

“Vaping is not good for your health,” Mahler said. “Inhaling aerosol into your lungs laced with metals and chemicals is not healthy.”

There is little research that has been done about vaping, which only became an option in 2007. Due to this, little is known about what exactly has been causing these deaths and illnesses.

Another effect of vaping, according to Mahler, is that individuals, especially younger ones, are far more likely to use combustible forms of tobacco as well.

Due to the fact that not much is known about the negative impacts of vaping, students who decide to do so must weigh the pros and cons. It may be a healthier choice than cigarettes, or it could be a huge public health hazard. Until more research and studies are done, students must decide if the potential risks outweigh the potential benefits.

Jack Lewis can be reached at [email protected].