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Put down the Nic-Stick!!

E-cigarette usage pervasive at South High.

This+is+just+a+sample+of+the+many+e-cigs+confiscated+at+South+High.
This is just a sample of the many e-cigs confiscated at South High.

This is just a sample of the many e-cigs confiscated at South High.

Eliza Dames

Eliza Dames

This is just a sample of the many e-cigs confiscated at South High.

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According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 11.3 percent of high school students own a electronic cigarette. At press time, there are exactly 1,742 students enrolled at Parkway South High School. If you do the math that means approximately 196 South High students own an e-cig. In my opinion, this number is exceedingly high especially since most high school students aren’t 18.  Students tend to use their e-cigs in the bathroom, and even in the back of class. Throughout the generations students went from smoking cigarettes in the creek, to chewing tobacco during class, and now e-cigs.

Kids don’t know the harmful effects of an e-cig. First off, e-cigs contain nicotine, an addictive drug. According to Know the Risks: E-Cigarettes & Young People, the use of e-cigs is higher among high school students than adults. Personally, I have noticed more and more use of e-cigarettes today within our community.  Teens are abusing electronic cigarettes without knowing the long term effects. E-cig juice can be laced with other drugs leaving teens unaware of what they are taking into their body, including marijuana. Nicotine can cause harm to the development of the brain. The brain doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25, and especially not knowing what you are inhaling is extra dangerous.

Recently in St. Louis County, the legal age to purchase nicotine products was raised to 21. Young adults will go to the extreme of finding someone to buy them from, no matter how old or sketchy they may be. These young adults are illegally buying these products for just a short buzz. In fact if a student gets caught with one on campus, Officer Waters could write you a ticket!

During class students will either ask to use the restroom where they will hit their e-cig there, or casually hit it in the back of class, making sure a large amount of vapor does not come out. Teachers are catching on, so unless you love to get suspended, wait until you’re of age.

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Put down the Nic-Stick!!