Dangers of vaping

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Montana, like many other states, is placing a temporary ban on flavored vaping products in an attempt to reduce underage use.

Across the country, more than a thousand people have been sickened due to vaping related illnesses. Two cases of vaping related illnesses and one death have been confirmed in Montana.

According to Holly Sienkiewicz, the school nurse, vaping can cause serious Pulmonary disease and even death. “They banned it for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it’s attractive to kids. Most teens will say they started vaping because of the appealing flavors. Vaping nicotine is quite dangerous, especially for kids. The high levels of nicotine in vapes are shown to cause mood disorders and attention problems,” Sienkiewicz said.

Sienkiewicz stated that symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain would be concerning signs of Pulmonary disease. “If you have withdrawal symptoms, feel anxious, rapid heart rate, sweating, trouble focusing, or difficulty doing your work that is relieved by using the product, these are signs that you could be addicted,” Sienkiewicz said.

After two years of vaping, Park High senior who wishes to stay anonymous stated that they could feel their lungs deteriorating and found it difficult to breathe. “It would make me physically sick, but I was so addicted to nicotine that I continued to vape,” they said, “I stopped because I did not want my lungs to continue to get worse.”

Lori Dust, Park High co-principal, believes that targeting teens is unfair and unethical. “We knew that there were some dangerous issues we just did not know what they were because there was so much unknown. Unfortunately, it took some severe injuries to get everyone’s attention,” Dust said.