Red Mountain High School is well known for its excellence in behavior and influence while using the Red Mountain Way as a guideline. However, as electronic smoking devices become easier for students to obtain, more and more students are choosing to bring these instruments onto campus. This is resulting in severe consequences for students.
“We had 42 cameras installed around the campus, we’ve hired two new security guards and we’ve restricted where students can go during lunch, but it’s not possible to monitor everything,” Principal Mr. Ryan said. “We don’t want to catch students doing something wrong. Rather, we want to catch them doing something right and something positive.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a recent study and concluded that about 11 percent of high school students from 2016 have used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days—an increase of 1.5 percent from 2011. Many argue vaping is safer than smoking, but that has been proven to be incorrect.
“Nowadays, the research has shown that the nicotine in vaping is five times stronger than a normal cigarette,” Student Resource Officer Harris said.
When students or adults start smoking or vaping, their health is put at risk. Researchers from the University of North Carolina have concluded that people who vape show high levels of proteins, which are linked to potentially serious lung diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder), cystic fybrosis, lupus and psoriasis.
“The worst has to be lung diseases,” Officer Harris said. “Eventually it’s going to end up causing lung cancer, heart disease and diabetes.”
There are many ways students are influenced to start smoking. The main influence is through peer pressure. The circle of friends that students hang out with have the potential to influence them to start doing new activities, such as smoking, because they think it is cool.
“When their friends vape, they think it’s okay,” Officer Harris said. “You either have to be a leader or a follower. You can’t just be sitting on the fence.”
The best way to convince others to stop smoking and vaping is by educating them. Just like how Lion Time lessons teach about the Red Mountain Way, various research studies can show others the dangers of vaping.
“I want to figure out through reliable sources what is true and educate students on campus of the dangers of smoking and vaping,” Mr. Ryan said. “We want popular things to be wearing school colors, helping others out, and sharing school spirit with others.”
Red Mountain is a high school of positivity. Educating others can be a way to spread that positivity everywhere, including outside of school. Let’s be the generation that ends smoking and vaping for good.
Proclaiming the stopping of smoking and vaping, signs are being made and placed globally in stores and on streets. (Featured Photo by Mike Mozart from Funny YouTube, USA (No Vaping Sign) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)