Opinion: WHS, Massachusetts, and The White House Take on Anti-Vaping Actions

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Adam Dapolite '20, Opinion Editor

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You hear about it everywhere. Vaping has plagued the Westborough High School halls for years and has made the bathrooms of the school smell of e-cigarettes. Every time I pass by the bathrooms I can smell the cotton candy and caramel flavors, which have become increasingly popular with the students at WHS. This is not just a local phenomenon, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now reporting that roughly 1 in 5 high school students vape on a regular basis. The issue has now caught the attention of Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and the White House, with President Trump promising to take action–banning flavored products that have attracted teens to e-cigarettes. I, for one, could not support this action more. 

President Trump recently announced his administration is working towards banning flavored vape products with the goal of making vaping less appealing to younger generations. 

NBC recently reported Trump’s comment: “We are looking at vaping strongly, it’s very dangerous, children have died and people have died.”

President Trump is referencing to the deaths of nine individuals across seven states, all of whom used vape products. Additionally, the CDC is currently looking into 450 lung-related illnesses that have potential links to vaping. These cases span across 33 states and the US Virgin Islands.  

Here in Massachusetts, WCVB Channel 5 reports Governor Baker saying, “People aren’t really sure about why, and until we have a better answer on way, we felt the best thing to do is to put in a four-month ban…”

I appreciate that government officials are finally taking action to restrict the vaping industry. The industry has run away from its original purpose, to aid recovering cigarette smokers. Instead, companies such as Blu and Juul have purposely targeted children with flavors such as Sour Patch Kids, cotton candy, and other child-friendly names for flavors.

For the entirety of my time here at WHS, there has been a constant issue of the invasion of vaping products into the school community.  But, just as Massachusetts and the White House have taken notice of this phenomenon, Westborough as a community has taken action to combat the issue.

On October 3 from 6:60-8:30 p.m. at Mill Pond School, Westborough Connects is hosting Smoke and Mirrors: A Panel Presentation on E-Cigarettes and Vaping. This will be a good opportunity for the community to come together to voice their concerns and have their questions answered in regards to vaping and the presence of e-cigarettes in Westborough Public Schools.

Sources Used:

https://www.wcvb.com/article/lawsuit-brought-by-vape-shops-questions-legality-of-charlie-bakers-statewide-vaping-ban/29309849

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/health/trump-vaping.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-administration-meeting-address-vaping-crisis-n1052396