Inhale, Exhale

How bad can it be, right?

Izak Zeller, co-Copy Editor

We all do it. 

Inhale, exhale.

See, I just did it right now.

Inhale, exhale.

It’s natural, until it’s not.

It all started at my cousin’s house. I was hanging out and he asked if his friend could come over. I said yes.

His friend comes over and he has this little device with him. He puts the slim device to his lips and:

Inhale, exhale.

I’m mesmerized by the large cloud of vapor that shoots out of his lips. As it slowly dissipates, my cousin takes a hit. He asks me if I want some and I think

How bad can it be?

Inhale, exhale.

Immediately after, I start to get a little dizzy. My heart starts beating faster and I perk up a little bit. 

Now I know this doesn’t sound good on paper, but at the moment, it felt magical. I texted my cousin the next day asking where I could get one. The response I got isn’t what you, or I for that matter, was expecting.

He told me not to get one. He said  I would become addicted and all of his friends wished they never tried it. So I texted my friend, who I knew vaped. 

Inhale, Exhale.

“Should I get a vape?”


“Which one should I get?”

“I like vuse.”

I think I texted them because I knew they would encourage me to get one. They wouldn’t try to belittle me for wanting one. 

Inhale, exhale.

I planned to hang out with this person so they could come with me to buy it. They got in my car and their friend texted them with a gas station we could go to to get the vuse. When we got there, we went up to the counter and each of us, one at a time, asked:

“Can we get a vuse and a two pack?”

“Are you 21?”


So we hand him some cash and he hands us our vuses. 

Inhale, exhale

The thing adults don’t understand about teen vaping is that we know about the risks. They preach the same thing over and over. We know about the lung damage. We know about the tooth damage. We know you can get addicted. The harsh truth about teen vaping is that teens just don’t care. 

Do you think I wasn’t pondering how addicting nicotine is when I bought that vuse? Well I was, but I just didn’t care.

The truth is teens start vaping for social or emotional reasons —  either to fit in, advance status, make more friends, feelings of freedom, etc. For me, it was a mix of all four. I thought that maybe a vape would fix my problems.

After we got in the car, I put the vuse up to my lips and started the long journey of addiction, headaches, withdrawal and heartache. Time after time, I would get caught, but I didn’t care. My philosophy (toxic or not) has always been ‘do what you want to do’. I don’t think that we should be changing ourselves for others, but that’s exactly what I did when I started vaping.

I have recently made the decision to quit. It wasn’t easy, but for me at least, it wasn’t hard either. I got headaches and craved nicotine for a little while, but it eventually went away. If you decide to try nicotine, know the risks. Know the risk of addiction and heartache. 

I think the most important thing you can do to prevent vaping is avoid belittling who want to try it. . That’s a surefire way to make sure somebody starts a long adventure with nicotine. That’s one of the issues with the “stop vaping” posters around school. Oftentimes, I have felt very small when looking at those posters, which just made me go to the bathroom and vape more as my own little protest. 

A lot of adults need to get the picture about teen vaping. Start offering support, instead of hostility. Then maybe, just maybe, we might go to a school that’s nicotine free.