What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word smoke? Cydney Gaspar, a junior at Beavercreek High School, answered that question by saying “the first thing that comes to mind is health problems.” Those health problems include coughing, breathing difficulties, weight loss, and nausea. Most teens don’t know those health problems exist because the only one they mostly hear about is what happened to the lungs. There are a lot of health problems for smoking, that are also in new smoking devices called vapes or e-cigarettes. Since most teens use these new devices instead of regular cigarettes, a three-day suspension is the punishment in middle schools and high schools if you get caught with it. I feel like it isn’t enough of a punishment and Gaspar agrees with me, she wouldn’t report someone for vaping because she feels like it wouldn’t be enough to change the person’s mind about smoking because “that person doesn’t care that they are harming their body.” That is one of the reasons why I feel like cigarettes should be banned.
In high school and middle school, most kids who are vaping are outside and in the school bathroom. A lot of these kids are leaving secondhand smoking, but it isn’t only schools where there is a lot of secondhand smoking. I feel like everywhere I go, I am inhaling someone’s cigarette smoke. Gaspar also told me that she feels the same way, like she was always inhaling second-hand smoke, it was worse for her when her grandfather would smoke around her. One of the last questions I asked Cydney is why she thinks people smoke. That is a tough question to answer but I like what she said, it was that she thinks most of it could be peer pressure. I agree with that because a lot of people face that in high school. She also had another idea that it could be that people think of it as a stress reliever but I disagree, I think there are much better ways to relieve stress and smoking isn’t one of them