Name: Sydney Michelle Bottom
From: Phoenix, AZ
Be Cool Don’t Juul
Be Cool Don’t Juul
As a nation, there has been an uproar of addiction generating from a rather young demographic. A growing craze within my generation is vaping. Regardless of all the restrictions and laws passed on prohibiting minors from gaining access to these mind-altering substances, any kid with enough determination and cunning can have a Juul ordered within seconds. Whatever the reason kids choose to resort to this is, the fact of the matter is that kids use these devices in an attempt to numb themselves. Many studies have shown that this generation suffers the most from clinical depression and anxiety which means that teens are generally more insecure and unhappy and are merely seeking ways to stabilize their overly stimulated mind or even just stimulate a mind that has no stimulation in the first place.
Disappointingly, my generation never should’ve been able to get to this point of addiction in the first place. During the early 2000s, there was a tremendously successful movement that almost diminished smoking as we know it. We were going to be the first generation who ruined the cigarette business. Until one day, a shiny new method of smoking was introduced as a “healthy alternative”. A distorted image of vaping was created where “it was only water vapor” and “it won’t damage your lungs” was easily believed. Not to mention this new market focused on masking the scent and taste of nicotine by adding flavors and scents, chemically. Thus, captivating todays’ teens intrigue and creating a whole new predicament resulting in kids developing nicotine addictions by as young as 14.
Due to the influx of teen addiction, in the future it is clear that there will also be a rise in lung cancer and possibly even worse medical problems seeing as the vape is still relatively new and we have yet to see long term effects. With this “trend” becoming overwhelmingly popular over the past few years, two extremely bad habits are forming among the youth: smoking and addictive personality. Addiction from such a young age will greatly affect habits in the future and will ultimately result in a tendency to generally feel addicted to everyday things. Not to mention it can have drastic effects on relationships. The burden of constantly needing to “take a hit” whenever a social situation arises means that friendship building opportunities are cut short and the chance to live in the moment is taken away. Friends will be making memories alone because no one wants to wait around for the smoke break to end.
At this point, not much can be done for those already severely addicted, it’s up to them to reach out and get the help they need. However, ways to prevent future generations from becoming so drastically addicted to these health deteriorating substances is to show the real effects of it. The affect that ads showcasing the dangers of smoking had on me as a child was impactful. By showing the horrors of what some small little device can really do in the long run will scare most kids into the right direction. Specifically, the focus should be primarily on elementary aged children, and the facts behind the dangers of smoking are just as important to show. If the nation emphasizes the understanding of why habits and addictions like these are so bad, it is only a matter of time before rates of addiction decrease.
Furthermore, education behind why addictions like these can occur could also greatly affect addiction prevention. As previously stated, teens today are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Providing helpful resources to better cope with these illnesses and stress the importance of finding support, could really impact the amount of kids that feel safe enough to partake in healthier methods of managing their mental health. Along with taking away the stigma behind mental health, it would also remove reliance on temporary highs to make people feel better.
Overall, by improving general education on addiction dangers and removing the stigma behind mental health, the nation would surely see a blooming community rise.