Vape culture hits GHS

Vape culture hits GHS


Students and administrators alike are fed up with what seems to be a new trend of vaping at Gloucester High School.   

“Last year when I went to the bathroom I could just walk in and go. Now when I walk in, I go to wash my hands and I’m blocked by groups of people standing there vaping,” said junior Rebecca Dowd. “I just want to wash my hands.”

According to the SYTA, vaping  is “the act of inhaling and exhaling the water vapor produced by an electric device called a vaporizer or e-cigarette.”

But not all students know that it still contains nicotine and potentially dangerous cancer-causing substances. 

Vaping is supposed to be an healthier alternative for cigarette smokers to aid in quitting the costly habit. Yet, research shows that one cartridge of e-Juice contains the equivalent amount of puffs to a pack of cigarettes, and harmful substances, such as heavy metals. 

While education on the health costs of smoking has curbed the market for cigarettes all across the U.S., losses were amended by marketing vaping devices to youth.

Now vaping in high schools and colleges has become omnipresent. And inevitably, vaping has crept its way into the halls of GHS.

“You honestly sometimes can’t get through a day without getting caught in a cloud,” said GHS senior David Killian.

These “clouds” Killian refers to are the e-juices or pods you insert inside of your vaping device, releasing a pungent fruity smell from mango, strawberry, and kiwi flavors alike, with each exhale of vapor. Gloucester has recently limited the sale of flavored tobacco products, but they are still showing up at GHS.

“Kids who would never ever smoke a cigarette, will take a hit off a Bo,” said Dean of Students, Mr. Gallinelli. “Vaping has turned into a trend and addiction for teens of all types. It’s a major problem. Kids don’t think it’s as harmful as it is.”  

Increasingly, students are getting caught using, distributing, or possessing vapes, keeping GHS staff busy investigating for any signs of vaping or the smelly traces it leaves behind.  This proves to be very difficult due to its discreet nature.  

“We deal with an incident of vaping at least once a day,” said Dean of Students, Chris Kobs.

According to Kobs, it has become such a problem that other schools have reached out to him to ask how GHS is dealing the issue.

While students caught with a dab pen, containing marijuana, are suspended, those caught with a Bo vape, containing nicotine, are issued detention. Kobs says he is “using these incidences as educational opportunities.”

But even with the staffs’ high alert on the matter, students have begun to move to the bathrooms to fulfill their new nicotine cravings and the addictive short head rush that comes with it.

“Literally every single time I walk in it’s like I can’t get to the stall because there are groups of people vaping,” said sophomore Danielle Denman. “It makes me nervous because I don’t want to get in trouble for something I’m not doing. I don’t think they are really cracking down on it.”   

“If you go to the bathroom during lunch, that is when there are people in there doing it,” said Emily Brier. “ If they are vaping, and someone finds out you were in there when they were, you are guilty by association. It makes it hard.”

Senior Gabby Machado echoes Denman’s experience.  

“I can’t even pee in peace!” said Machado.

From a glance, vaping looks like a good alternative to smoking but it’s affects are still present, serving as another distraction from our invaluable free education.  Vaping is not an issue to be overlooked. It’s time for students to stop vaping in the school setting.