Story by Bailey McTavish

Vaping has recently been very popular among teens. It is said to be more healthy than smoking cigarettes, but what effects does it have on a teen’s body.

Most people know the health problems associated with smoking. Jill Dusing, a nurse at West talks about the effects, “lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema (COPD) are the top main three.”  

But most people do not know the health risks that come with vaping. “It still [can] cause heart disease and [a] stroke,” Says Dusing. “It [is] only is less harmful to the lungs because you’re not breathing tar and all that stuff. It is very harmful to the heart and vascular system.”

Vaping has grown in popularity among Students. Photo by Alyssa Sloss.
Vaping has grown in popularity among students. Photo by Alyssa Sloss.

From what Dusing has said,  vaping is not completely harmless because it still has the nicotine in it.

To some people the health risks involved with vaping and smoking do not concern them at the time they do it. They want to fit in and look cool.

When asked about the appeal of smoking, Senior Chris Wilcox said, “Definitely the steez, like looking cooler. A lot of people think they look cool when they smoke cigarettes and you get like a nicotine buzz from smoking cigarettes.”

So many people are vaping right now instead of smoking. Wilcox thoughts on that are, “People think it’s healthier and they’re still looking for that buzz….but obviously there are still a lot of unknowns with vaping.”

Senior Cody Carmack’s thoughts on why she thinks vaping is such a big deal, “Vaping is like a social thing. I think it’s a phase. I think it’s a fad. Like it’s not going to be cool forever. It’s a teenage thing and it’s fun to do right now and it’s easy to do it and not think of the impacts on your health it could be having.”

Cigarettes are becoming less of a fad among teens. Photo by Alyssa Sloss.
Cigarettes are becoming less of a fad among teens. Photo by Alyssa Sloss.

On Dec. 6, the smoking age in Lee’s Summit will be raised to 21, and some students are opposed to this change. “I think it’s stupid. I think it’s really stupid,” says Carmack, “I’m not advocating for smoking cigarettes, but if you can be a legal adult and vote and hypothetically get drafted at the age of 18 then why can’t you buy a pack of cigarettes.”


There is most likely a reason that people smoke cigarettes instead of just looking cool.

“People that smoke cigarettes are usually doing it to cope with stress,” says Carmack. Teens who smoke probably have a lot of stress from school or at home.

Carmack says, “It’s a bad habit it doesn’t make anyone a bad person,” about people who smoke cigarettes.

Overall Carmack believes that, “If you’re 18 do what you want…just be smart don’t be dumb.”

Students can make their own choices, but the problem is if they making the right decisions.

“I don’t judge other people for it, but I wouldn’t recommend it.” Carmack states.

Both vaping and smoking are not good for your health. Cigarettes do have many harmful chemicals in them, but we are yet to discover the lasting impacts vaping has on a the body.