BY MATT DEPIETRO
On April 13, it was announced that Sacred Heart has initiated a campaign to raise awareness about the potential health risks of vaping, as the JUUL increases in popularity.
According to juulvapor.com, the JUUL “Stands out as the vapor alternative with its unique satisfaction profile, simple interface, flavor variety and lack of lingering smell.”
Junior Mike Calisto said he noticed college students using them this past fall.
“I just started seeing people blowing these vape clouds out of this flash drive looking thing, and then next thing I know everyone has one,” he said.
“People can get the nicotine, but it doesn’t have the stigma of cigarettes yet I guess. People don’t think it’s as bad for you.”
The campaign was launched with the aid of a $10,000 grant from the State Department of Public Health and Southern Connecticut State University, who says tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death.
While e-cigarettes and vapes do not typically contain tobacco, a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine shows that vaping could lead to the use of other tobacco products.
As part of the campaign to raise awareness on vaping, the Sacred Heart Student Wellness Education and Empowerment Team (SWEET) Peer Educators will be organizing a variety of educational activities that students at the school can participate in.
The goal is to raise awareness and educate students on the potential health concerns with vaping. This was also backed by a survey conducted where SHU students, could answer questions about their perceptions on the rapid increase of vape usage on campus.
All the answers were anonymous, however junior nursing student Riley Cassin summed up her perceptions in light of the recent survey.
“I think there has been a rapid growth in students using JUULs or vapes because it is the ‘cool’ thing to do. When people see others using a JUUL, they automatically have a connection and in a way it helps people make friends,” she said.
“The health risks of vape pens and JUUL’s is something that I have learned called popcorn lungs. This is basically when you scar the tiny air sacs in your lungs then results in thickening and narrowing the airways of the lungs over time.”
Junior Tiffany Anderson, also a nursing student, made a similar point. “There has been a rapid growth because it is easily accessible and majority of college students are following their peers’ footsteps,” she said.
“Nicotine is also a cardiovascular stimulant and this could potentially worsen peoples conditions if they have heart issues,” she said.
Senior, Cam Neal sees the trend as part of our generations culture.
“I have noticed that from freshman to seniors people are buying them just to have something to do. I think this is just our generations bad habit,” he said.