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Letter from Mr. Ferullo, WHS Principal

WEEHAWKEN HIGH SCHOOL
53 Liberty Place Weehawken, NJ 07086
201.422.6130 I WeehawkenSchools.net I @WeehawkenTSD

 

Robert Ferullo
Principal                                                                                                               
bferullo@weehawkenschools.net

 

Nick DeStefano 
Vice Principal                                                                       
ndestafa@weehawkenschools.net   

Dear Parents and Students:

 

As you may be aware the vaping epidemic in the United States has affected an alarming number of teenagers who are wholly unaware of the seriousness of the usage.  I have compiled a list of 20 ways vaping affects your body so you are enlightened to the dangers of this extremely unsafe trend.

 
  1. It can age you- Akin to regular smoking, vaping can age you 10 years or more, in ways similar to cigarettes.  Nicotine lowers the oxygen supply, and also increases the breakdown of collagen. People who smoke or vape also form lines around their mouths—smokers lines—from the breakdown of collagen.    -Nazanin Saedi, MD dermatology
  2. It can increase your chances of lung disease-On October 10th, the CDC revealed that 1,299 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported from 49 states, and one U.S. territory. Of those, 26 deaths have been confirmed in 21 states. While it is still unclear of the specific chemical exposure(s) causing these lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, all patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.
  3. It can raise your blood pressure-If your vaping involves nicotine, expect your blood pressure to increase.  An increase in blood pressure can have a serious impact on your cardiovascular health, increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or heart disease.- Steven Reisman, MD, NYCDC 
  4. It increases your chance of a heart attack-One study from the American College of Cardiology found that e-cigarette users were 56 percent more likely to have a heart attack than non-users. Cardiologists are most concerned about acute nicotine toxicity, as it raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, and increases your heart rate and could potentially lead to having a heart attack.
  5. It increases your risks of cardiovascular disease-As per an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, acute exposure to flavored e-liquids or e-cigarette use exacerbates endothelial dysfunction, a type of non-obstructive coronary artery disease where large blood vessels on the heart's surface constrict (narrow) instead of dilating (opening).
  6. It increases your risk of stroke-According to the American College of Cardiology study, e-cigarette users were 30 percent more likely to have a stroke than non-users.  This could either be related to atherosclerosis (new plaque formation) or vascular inflammation (making the plaque more vulnerable for rupture) or related to spasm of cerebral arteries.
  7. It increases your chances of circulatory problems and blood clots-According to the same American College of Cardiology study, your circulatory system is seriously impacted by vaping. They found using e-cigarettes makes you 44 percent more likely to suffer from clots or circulatory problems.
  8. It can negatively impact your mental health-Vapers are twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other emotional problems, according to the American College of Cardiology.
  9. It can ruin your teeth-E-cigarettes are no safer for your teeth than tobacco. The heat from vaping as well as the ingredients of some vaping products dries the mouth, which substantially contributes to cavities and gum disease.  A study done in 2018 showed a higher level of bacteria in the mouth with vaping, especially when sweet products are used, which have a similar effect as sugar and candy.
  10. It can cause inflammation of the mouth and throat-Vaping causes inflammation of the mouth and throat which may lead to other health problems. These can include everything from periodontal diseases to bone death, cellular death, and bad breath.  -Dr. Kenneth Magid DDS, FCID
  11. It can increase cough, risk of bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses-Vaping is terrible for your respiratory system. Aerosolized substances can irritate the lungs. There has been an increase in coughs, bronchitis and respiratory illnesses reported in people who use e-cigarettes—and that includes both mild cases and the life-threatening illnesses that are becoming all too common lately. - Andrew Stiehm, MD, pulmonologist with the Allina Health United Lung and Sleep Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  12. It can irritate your mouth and nose-Vaping or inhaling aerosolized agents not only irritates the mouth and nasal cavity, but has been known to increase nose bleeds, cause mouth sores, dry mouth, and even loss of taste.  -Dr. Stiehm
  13.  Vaping can put more nicotine into your bloodstream than cigarettes-Among experienced vapers, the amount of nicotine in the blood rivals the amount they would get from smoking a cigarette.  Nicotine is highly addictive and is well known to be associated with a lot of negative health consequences including mood disturbances, slowing brain development, strokes and heart attacks.  -Dr. Stiehm
  14. It can increase your risk of cancer-What the long term risk of vaping products will be is unclear, there is every reason to believe it will increase cancer risk in the future. There are cancer-causing substances in e-cigarette liquid. While aerosolized contents of packaged vaping products do not contain some of the cancer-causing agents that are noted in cigarettes, they do contain a number of other known toxins.
  15. It can damage the developing brain-According to the Surgeon General, nicotine — whether it is smoked, vaped, or chewed — can seriously damage a developing brain. An individual's brain continues developing until they are 25, there are more likely to be long-lasting effect than with an adult user. Nicotine also alters the formation of synapses, which can be damaging to the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.
  16. It can lead to addiction- Nicotine, no matter how you absorb it, is addictive. That means vaping is just as addictive as smoking a cigarette. While this is the case for both adults and youth, those whose brains are developing are most at risk. According to the Surgeon General, the nicotine in e-cigarettes can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine.
  17. It can increase the risk of burns- The e-cigarette itself can be a health risk. E-cigarettes have both exploded and also caused burns to consumers, increasing the risk of burns to the face, hands and the groin and thigh from the pocket where the e-cigarette is stored
  18. It can harm those around you- According to the Surgeon General, secondhand e-cigarette emissions are a huge concern — and they can harm those around you. They concluded that secondhand emissions contain, "nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead."
  19. It won’t help you quit smoking-While many e-cigarette companies claim they can help you quit smoking, according to the American Heart Association this likely isn't the case. In fact, they point to research that has found that people who vape are more likely to "dual use," which means they will continue smoking and vaping.
  20. It can kill you-At least 26 people in the United States have lost their lives because of their decision to vape. This number could be much higher, considering the likelihood that other people didn't report a history of vaping to their physicians. While more research clearly needs to be done regarding the potential health impact of vaping, the CDC strongly urges that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.