It’s hard to tell what people get out of vaping. It’s a waste of money and detrimental to your respiratory health. It’s very similar to smoking cigarettes and there’s nothing attractive about that.

As the problem continues to rise among young adults, vaping is becoming a part of our culture. Nowadays, It’s unlikely to go to a public place and not see people vaping.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the first reported death from vaping in the U.S. was confirmed on Aug. 26. The patient’s name and age have not yet been released.

“Vaping exposes users to many different substances for which we have little information about related harms,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, said in a statement about the recent death.

Consumers may not even know what is entirely inside their vaping devices, or better yet, what toxins they are putting into their bodies. Benzoic Acid and Nicotine are just two of those chemicals which have negative effects on the human body.

It’s scary to think about especially when the demographic for people who vape is young adults that are still developing.

“Recently there has been an increase in the use of vapes, especially around college campuses,” Dr. Kathleen Camelo, director of the Student Health Center at SUNY Plattsburgh said, “It’s very appealing to this population [college students].”

There are tons of electronic cigarette and vaporizer brands that claim their products to be a “smoking alternative,” but vapes are just as addictive, if not more.

These companies are marketing toward a younger audience by making the design of the products and the flavors appealing. The flavors can range anywhere from mint to toasted marshmallow or strawberry cheesecake to cucumber.

Companies such as Juul, sells pods that contain nicotine and other unknown ingredients. In just one Juul pod, the amount of nicotine is equivalent to 20 cigarettes, according to the Juul website.

Senior business administration and supply chain management major Sawyer Bergin has owned a Juul since 2017 and roughly smokes his Juul about 50 to 100 times a day.

“Once I bought my first pack of pods, I never looked back,” Bergin said.

Within the past week, the New York State Department of Health released a health advisory for Unexplained Vaping-associated Pulmonary Illness. Currently, there is no specific treatment according to the NYSDOH.

SUNY Plattsburgh and the surrounding community have made efforts to end smoking and vaping. The Plattsburgh City Council has banned the use of tobacco products on public sidewalks and anyone caught violating the law must pay a $100 fine.

A law has also been passed to raise the age to 21 to be able to purchase tobacco products in cities all over New York, including Plattsburgh.

“When you decrease access, you decrease use,” Camelo said. “The reasoning behind trying to limit the use of these substances is because at a young age, you’re brain is still very susceptible to changes.”

Camelo also explained that the SUNY Plattsburgh Student Health Center plans to develop a wellness campaign to get students to make educated choices for their own health.

Some college students will continue to follow the trend of vaping even if it puts their health at risk.

“It’s a bad habit and it’s hard to break,” Bergin said.

It may be a stress reliever or just a way to look cool but students have unlimited resources to accomplish these things in many other ways.

Things like working out, listening to music, going on a long drive or watching a movie can be ways to relieve stress. As for the looking cool part, don’t fall under peer pressure just because you see other people doing it.

It’s not going to look so cool when vape users have lung disease in the future.

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<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/dara-brandenberg/" rel="tag">Dara Brandenberg</a>