According to the CDC, the use of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, is unsafe and this is especially true for kids, teens, and young adults.

For those unfamiliar, e-cigarettes work by producing an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals that help to make the aerosol. Users inhale e-cigarette aerosol into their lungs and like secondhand smoke from traditional cigarettes, bystanders can also breathe in this aerosol when the user exhales it into the air.

The reason those pose a health risk is that most e-cigarettes contain nicotine and they can also contain other harmful substances that can be dangerous to introduce into your lungs.

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Because of the types of liquid flavors available, such as Blue Razz Ice, Watermelon Ice, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Watermelon, Cotton Candy, and more, a troubling number of young people are drawn to vaping.

This is concerning to health officials who stress that nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.

E-Cigarettes / Canva
E-cigarettes / Canva

Furthermore, the CDC stresses that young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future, and using nicotine in adolescence may also increase the risk of future addiction to other drugs.

Unfortunately, vaping is on the rise among young people in Northland and many are doing it during the school day due to their nicotine addiction.

According to a report by Northern News Now, about 20% of Cloquet students told a Minnesota Department of Education Student Survey they had used tobacco products at some point, which is higher than the state average.

Cloquet, MN water tower
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Cloquet High School Principal Steve Battaglia says vaping has exploded in popularity since the pandemic, with many students sneaking into school bathrooms to vape. This has led to unhealthy and uncomfortable situations for other students.

The Cloquet School Board has taken notice and they're doing something about it. They recently approved investing over $20,000 in new technology to help detect when students are vaping in the school.

The new vape detectors will be placed in restrooms in the high school, middle school, and alternative school.

They will alert school leaders when vaping may be happening in the restrooms, and they can then review hallway footage to determine who the culprits may be so that disciplinary action can take place.

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