School nurse provides her perspective on vaping

Jennings-Sood notes addictive nature of habit

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Ava Amos

School nurse Mrs. Courtney Jennings-Sood works in her office earlier this school year.

Ava Amos, Co-Editor-in-Chief

E-cigarettes’ intended purpose was to provide a way to satisfy a smoker’s nicotine addiction without the deadly toxins and to help them quit smoking. But with 450 possible cases of severe lung disease in 33 states and five deaths, one problem has been exchanged for another.

The e-cigarette wave quickly spread to teenagers, according to a Sept. 1 article in The New York Times: “In 2018, vaping among American teenagers exploded and large numbers of young people who had never smoked started using e-cigarettes.”

The article also stated that teens were especially attracted to sleek devices made and marketed by Juul Labs, which now dominates the market. It is illegal for students who are under 18 to purchase, carry or use an e-cigarette of any kind. 

School nurse Mrs. Courtney Jennings-Sood said, “I am seeing students with a persistent cough that won’t go away. As a clinician, it is difficult to evaluate a student with symptoms of a cough, difficulty breathing and anxiety without thinking that it could be related to bacteria, a virus or the unknown chemicals in these vaping devices,” Jennings-Sood said.

She added that substance abuse of any kind has been heavily researched for years and continues to show the negative consequences for minors and their developing brains, organs and bodies. She said, “Not only is it physically dangerous, but it’s highly addictive. I want students to realize they can choose to stop, but it is likely they will need help in quitting. Ask for help.”