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Students turn to vaporizers as “safer” alternatives

Jarred Belman, Sports Editor

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With new research, “No Smoking” signs and television campaigns, people are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Knowing the risks of smoking, more people are beginning to switch from cigarettes to Vaporizer Smoke Pens, also known as “vapes”. Working as manager at the Vaper Café, Dan Shvedok (’15) is one of many advocates of the vape movement.

“As more people are quitting cigarettes, they are making the switch to vaporizers,” Shvedok said. “With the market for them expanding, the popularity is growing a lot and the vaporizers are becoming a more desired item.”

One of the draws to vaporizers as opposed to cigarettes is the drastic decrease in potential dangers. Unlike cigarettes, smoke from vapes contains no nicotine, a chemical that contributes heavily to the health risks associated with cigarettes. Nicotine is what gives cigarettes their addictive quality, and with nicotine-free vapor pens, users have less risk of becoming dependent on them.

“Vapor contains no carcinogens,” Shvedok said. “There have been studies by multiple groups and many have found that almost all of the dangers of cigarettes are not present with vaporizers.”

One of those dangers is secondhand smoke. Linked to lung cancer and heart disease, secondhand smoke is one of the biggest problems with smoking.

“Secondhand smoke is not a concern with vaporizers,” Shvedok said. “In the studies where the vapes have been tested, there is little secondhand smoke.”

Working at a vape shop may not be a typical job for a student. However, as a former cigarette smoker himself, Shvedok has his reasons for having this job.

“I smoked cigarettes, my entire family smoked cigarettes, and it was becoming a big problem,” Shvedok said. “At one point my parents got mad at me, so I decided to quit and give vaporizers a try.”

Although researchers have recently found that vaporizers contain less harmful substances and present fewer health risks than cigarettes, scientists acknowledge that they do not yet know the long-term effects of the fairly new devices. They took many years to figure out the dangers of cigarettes, having proof only after cigarette-users had smoked for a significant period of time. Similarly, researchers cannot say with certainty that vaporizers present no dangers until they know more about the long-run effect. Nevertheless, Shvedok stays confident about vaporizers’ benign nature and notes how much they have helped him quit smoking cigarettes.

“When you have an addiction it’s all about your mental breakdown,” Shvedok said. “The vapes helped me move on from cigarettes because it gave me the same sensation, but at the same time I knew that I wasn’t putting myself at risk as much.”


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The student news site of Pikesville High School
Students turn to vaporizers as “safer” alternatives