Most students believe vaping/Juuling is a problem at DPHS

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Most students believe vaping/Juuling is a problem at DPHS

Hannah Sandberg and Abby Lamine

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Adidas, wireless earphones, mom jeans. These are just few popular trends that are sweeping across De Pere High School.

Yet these fads are changeable. They’ll eventually die out and be replaced by different, more popular choices. However, a craze with possible long-term side effects has struck students — Juuling. Juul, a pocket-sized electronic cigarette, has been marketed towards teens with flavors such as Mint, Mango, Tutti Frutti, and Creme Brûlée.  

Juuls and other electronic cigarettes have been shown to be highly addictive, hinder brain development, put individuals at risk for lung disease, and contain toxic metals.

“Students that Juul have a higher risk of cancers,” said De Pere HS health aide Kate Skaleski. “But I don’t think there’s enough communication in the community about the dangers of it. We had lots of communication about smoking, lots of ad campaigns. Nothing about JUULing. I think it’s worse than smoking was.”

In a Crimson Aviator poll, 69.4 percent of students answered that they believe there is a vaping problem at DPHS, while 30.6 percent believe there is no problem.

On Oct. 9, DPHS administration posted anti-vaping ads in student bathrooms. These signs have messages such as, “It’s a lot easier to wipe your butt than your lungs”  and “Strangely enough some students come in here to put crap into their bodies.” These short quips have definitely been noticed by students, even if they don’t believe they’re effective.

In all, 13.5 percent of students report that these posters help end vaping. However, 86.5 percent do not believe they work.

Here is what DPHS students think of the posters through an anonymous survey:

** “The posters only use general terms all saying in some that ‘vaping is bad.’ This in no way prevents nor will stop the use of vapes because there’s no substance behind these claims.”

** “People think of the posters more of a joke.”

** “I would say that the kids who are making the decision to vape are not going to look at a poster and make the choice to stop.”

** “I’ve seen countless posters torn down or in the garbage bins in the bathrooms.”

Skaleski, on the contrary, believes that the signs will work.

“I think putting up signs in the bathroom will have an impact on students,” she said. “Maybe subliminally, some of them think about it before trying it for the first time.”

So, what will it take for DPHS to solve this issue?

Students responding to the survey said the following:

** “Action must be taken rather than having posters because they can be easily ignored by those who choose to still vape.”

** “I think a harsh video somewhat similar to anti-smoking videos would be more effective than the posters.”

** “Put smoke detecting lights in the bathroom.”

** “I think the vaping would die down if teachers limit the bathroom passes.”

Besides posters, faculty has been cracking down on the JUULing issue by having more teacher regulation in student bathrooms, confirmed DPHS liaison officer Brian Arkens.

Arkens also indicated that a first offense, which is possession of tobacco by a child, is a $155.50 fine. If caught using a tobacco product on school grounds, it is $313.00 fine, Arkens said.

As well as a fine, a student caught JUULing will have a court appearance in front of a judge, Arkens said.