Nicotine In Teens

Hailey Burkett and Abi Clinton

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62 in 75 teens polled at Azle High School have used nicotine products, and 29 out of 75 teens use nicotine products regularly. Nicotine products have shown to be just as addictive as heroin and can cause infertility, lung cancer, emphysema and much more.

The legal age to purchase these products is 18, and still, it is as easy as stealing candy from a baby for underage teens to get their hands on these harmful, deadly products.

“I think the legal age should be raised to 19, that way seniors wouldn’t be able to buy them for underclassmen,” one anonymous student said.

But how bad is nicotine really? We have all been to the “don’t do drugs assembly” and seen the before and after using tobacco and smoking cigarettes segments. However, studies have shown that nicotine can lower anxiety, prevent depression, and help with Tourettes. As such, some students don’t understand why it is unavailable for kids who use it to help curb anxiety about a test or speaking in front of their class or get out of the pit depression can cause.

“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, and it can help with a lot of things teens go through, so I personally think the age should be lowered to 16,” another anonymous student said.

Azle High School’s punishment for the use of nicotine products can vary, but the usual is five days of ISS. While some may see this as harsh: sitting at a desk being unable to speak to anyone and not knowing how many more hours before the day is over, but administration and others say it’s a small price to pay to avoid the coughing, the hacking, and the tar in building up in people’s lungs.

“I think the punishment should be worse,”  another student said. “You are killing your body.”

On the flipside, others ask: Isn’t what you do with your body your choice?

“It’s way too harsh; whatever you put in your body is your business. The school shouldn’t be getting involved,” another student said.

The peer pressure to vape or just “hit the Juul” can be intense. There have been many stories of students in the bathroom whipping out a vape or “the juju.” So is it really OK to blame the kids who just crack under pressure?

“It’s totally not fair that if you’re caught once, it can go on your record,” an anonymous student said. “It could have been your first and last time”

Studies have shown that peer pressure is real and can have major effects on young teens’ choices. Making them do things they never would have d

So whether you are a “vape god” or prefer to sit back and keep your lungs intact, you do have to look at both sides of the situation and decide whether it is your body, your choice, or if there should be rules controlling teens’ choices.