Vaping town hall spreads awareness to community

Nick Rice, Reporter

On Monday October 14, a town hall meeting was held at the Loutit District Library. The topic of discussion was vaping and the latest research on the adverse health effects that come with it. Teen e-cig usage has been rising by 20 percent.

“Vapes and e-cigs used to remotely resemble cigarettes, now companies are aiming for a more compact, sleek and technological look that takes the shape of common household items,” said Leigh Moerdyke, the keynote speaker of the event. 

Along with Leigh, two guest speakers and Mike Roberson spoke about their perspectives on the subject. Much of the latest statistics and facts were shared along with personal experiences from the presenters, and the crowd. 

In the U.S. alone, 1,300 have been injured or sickened and 26 dead from usage.  Dopamine-triggering chemicals like nicotine and other reward center stimuli, including social media, are far more captivating for teenagers. 75 percent of teenagers see peers using vapes on social media, furthering the exposure. 

Vaping companies like Juul have marketed their way to kids’ hearts, as they have been hosting a “stop-smoking” seminar at schools and implement a variety of fruity flavoring in the products. 

An average pack of cigarettes is equivalent to around one pod of 20nic vape juice. Kids are blowing through 50nic pods at a faster rate than some of the heaviest smokers take down packs of tobacco cigs. Although cigarettes have a  number of chemicals in them, they do not have them by the quality. Vapes are filled with toxic inhalants like aerosol, dyatrene, nickel and tin. 

Around the end of the presentation, Roberson brought out a show and tell of confiscated vape paraphernalia.

 “I had to put these in bags because the smell reeked every time I opened the door,” Roberson said.