Vaping Finds a Home at ACHS

The guilty pleasure that stokes the flames of addiction.

The sweet serenity of a simple inhale— the calm that eventually creates the storm. Addictions spread far and wide, mainly from illegal substances that abuse the bodies of young people, and stretch across their social status.

Welcome to the 21st Century where the epidemic of vaping is taking teenagers by the palm of their hands, making them grip tighter and tighter to the hand that gave them that opportunity, and leading them down an alleyway of no return. They are thrown to the wolves without being taught the danger and the damage caused by the intake of nicotine; within the walls of Antioch Community High  School, both in common spaces and bathroom stalls, or the innocence of Antioch, juuling, vaping and the consumption of nicotine in general is taking the rules the Sequoits know all-too-well, and is exhaling them up in smoke.

“When you look at the research that came out from the lawsuit against the tobacco industry, with what they found in regards to cancer, we’re now ingesting a similar chemical without the tar,” principal Eric Hamilton said. “I think there’s a perception that it’s “safer” [than cigarettes], but we don’t know the chemical makeup of taking a liquid and making it into a steam.”

Nicotine contained within all products of vaping produces a profound imperceptible high—often called being buzzed. According to Time Magazine, juuls were created to specifically to eliminate the withdrawal symptoms that come right alongside the addiction itself, and give off a sense of calming. The calmness comes in waves, one minute there’s emotional drainage within the heart and body, the next is being able to float within the clouds while also forming them with the curves that lips so willingly provide. The body begs for more, until it becomes undeniable; having to pull out a nicotine-induced device in the middle of class, when driving a car or someone having to excuse him or herself to go to the bathroom so it can finally be released from the back pocket of that high school teenager.

“I believe it’s a gateway drug,” Lake Villa Lieutenant Dennis Geraty said. “They haven’t done enough research on it, but it’s just as harmful as cigarette smoke.”