Cloud grows as vape industry continues to expand


Sarah Fagan

Vape skills pay the bills, or at least that’s what all the vape lords say. In the past five years, the vaping industry has boomed. Who knew blowing O’s and making smoke tornados would be so popular?
Vaping first became popular as a way for cigarette addicts to help them ease off tobacco and nicotine. Vaping has been proven to be a healthier alternative to smoking with benefits like a decreased amount of chemicals used (vapes have five main chemicals while cigarettes have over 5,000 different chemicals), and a decreased rate of strokes and cancers related to tobacco smoking. While there are no long term studies for vaping, the short term research looks promising.
Vaping saves money also. A pack-a-day tobacco smoker will save on average $1,200 if they switch to vaping. Not only is it saving money, it’s saving the environment. Over 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are tossed or thrown away annually so cutting out cigarettes decreases pollution and people can breathe freely.
In 2015, around three million middle and high school kids used vapes. Most do it for the popularity and social purposes. “There’s always newer versions for people and students to get hooked on. This seems to be the next big thing that will get students addicted so that is our main concern is if students begin to get addicted to vaping,” principal Kimberly Boldon said.
For those who don’t know what vaping is, there are two types of devices that will produce the smoke; vape pens and vape mods. Vape pens are smaller and more portable but don’t produce as much smoke plume as the vape mod. The mods are also able to have rechargeable batteries, which will be fully charged after three hours.
A common misconception with vaping is that most devices have nicotine in the liquids when actually there are few that contain nicotine levels like cigarettes. While there are extreme amounts of nicotine in some, up to 36 milligrams per milliliter, several don’t contain any nicotine. Most students just use water vapor or weed, which gives the same smoke plume as the nicotine ones. “My friends and I all have mods that don’t have any nicotine. The vapor is so much better because of it,” an anonymous senior said.
Another pro to having no nicotine is the flavor of the e-juices are intensified. These flavors range from grape and berry blue to strawberry shortcake and mojito. “My favorite flavor is cinnamon toast crunch, it’s my favorite cereal,” an anonymous freshman said.
If you’re serious about vaping and your vape skills, you can enter into vape competitions. The competitions are called “Cloud Chasing” and it is considered an extreme sport. The competitors challenge each other with large smoke clouds and cool smoke tricks to try to win prize money and bragging rights. These competitions promote the use of vapes and support cigarette smokers in their battle to stop. “It’s basically an antismoking rally,” founder of AmeraVape Technologies, Erik Hutchinson said.

Haley Zmuda

Staff Writer