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The Lincolnian

The Student News Site of Lincoln High School

The Lincolnian

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LHS Teachers Retiring
LHS Teachers Retiring
Michelle BekhtelMay 24, 2024

STOCKTON- The 2024 school year is coming to an end, and with this short time left we must take time to recognize teachers that have chosen to...

Death by Reaper or Death by Vapor?

Smoking is common, but how exactly does it impact our health?
Death by Reaper or Death by Vapor?

STOCKTON “Do you smoke?” is a question many of us have been asked before.  According to the CDC website, roughly 3.08 million high school and middle school students use at least one tobacco product.  Instead of traditional tobacco products, e-cigarettes are the most popular to use among our generation.  The results of the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that 2.14 million high schoolers reported using e-cigarettes.  Not only are e-cigarettes as addictive compared to traditional tobacco products, but they are more adverse.

 

Vaping contains more nicotine than cigarettes.  Although this claim varies because of many variables, such as how often you are vaping and the strength of the e-liquid, if a vape contained 600 puffs, it would be about the same as two packs of cigarettes, or 40-50 cigarettes.  For instance, one JUUL pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.

 

The smoke unleashed from e-cigarettes may seem harmless because of its fruity flavorings.  However, you are actually inhaling toxic chemicals, such as carcinogens and formaldehyde, that are linked to respiratory diseases and causes cancer.  Diacetyl, for example, is a flavorant that has a buttery smell/taste.  When inhaled, it is most commonly linked to causing bronchiolitis obliterans, otherwise known as “popcorn lung”.  Your lungs have small airways called bronchioles that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs that allow for gas exchanges to the bloodstream.  If you continue to inhale harmful chemicals, scar tissue can build up in the bronchioles, obstructing the flow of air into the alveoli.  Although it is rare, it is a chronic and life-threatening disease that cannot be cured and can result in respiratory failure.

 

In addition to causing respiratory illness, smoking stunts the development of our brains.  Our brains do not fully develop until the age of 25.  Researchers from Fudan University in China and other various universities conducted a study to determine the impact of adolescent smoking on a certain region of the frontal lobe of the brain (the ventromedial prefrontal cortex).  The frontal lobe is a region of the brain that is responsible for behaviors like concentration, emotional regulation, and decision-making.  Grey matter is a type of brain tissue that processes information in the brain.  The study concluded that adolescents who started smoking by the age of 14 had significantly less grey matter in both the left and right sides of the frontal lobe, meaning that they are more likely to break rules and become prone to addiction. 

 

Essentially, smoking is not beneficial to our health.  If you or someone you know wants to stop smoking, the American Lung Association has a program called Not-On-Tobacco (N-O-T) that is specialized for 14-19-year-olds, or you can contact 1-800-LUNGUSA. 

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About the Contributor
Ariel Tuy
Ariel Tuy, Staff Writer
Ariel Tuy is a senior at Lincoln High, and is a staff writer and editor for the Lincolnian.  This is her 2nd year in the program, and she strives to revive Lincoln High’s 60-year-old newspaper establishment. Additionally, she is the president of Our Planet Club and works as a server.

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