By Logan Miller & William Malizia
On December 18, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, made an announcement stating, “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use [vaping] among youth an epidemic in the United States.”
The amount of students who vape is increasing at alarming rates. It was reported by the FDA in 2018 that 3.26 million highschool and middle school students were currently using e-cigarettes.
What’s the Purpose of Vaping?
Vaping is supposedly meant to be an alternative to smoking regular combustible cigarettes. With claims like having less chemicals than an ordinary cigarette, but less chemicals is not the same as having none.
To further counteract vapes “anti-smoking” ideal, it has been found in studies that people who vape actually have an increased chance of smoking regular cigarettes. As stated by Yale Health Researchers, “Vape devices have not been proven to help adults quit smoking.”
Why is this so Bad?
One word. Nicotine. Between 2017 to 2018, the amount of high schoolers vaping has increased 78% (11.7% to 20.8%), and the amount of middle schoolers vaping has increased 48% (3.3% to 4.9%).
Within a one month period, 11% of high school seniors, 8% of sophomores, and 3.5% reported using nicotine with a vape device. These teen epidemic of e-cigarette abuse is similar to the regular cigarette use of teens in the 1940’s and 50’s.
One of these e-cigarette companies, Juul, are under a lot of pressure by the FDA for “marketing and sales practices that seemed aimed at teens and young adults” These devices with their sleek design and colorful lights, how can they legitimately say it’s not marketed towards children? And with a harmful and addictive chemical like nicotine, it is dangerous to say the less.
How it Affects Us
Our young brains are very sensitive to the effects of nicotine. Nicotine can be very damaging to a young individuals brain development, it can impact one's own memory and attention processing. Unlike with cigarettes there are many “health unknowns” with e-cig use.
Another serious problem with nicotine is the addiction that quickly follows suit. Becoming an addict is like losing your freedom of choice. You’ll quickly find yourself under the control of your vaping device, not your own free will.
As warned by the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, “We cannot allow a whole generation to become addicted to nicotine” but with companies like Juul, with one pod having the same nicotine content as a pack of cigarettes, the problem has only just begun...
WHS and Vaping
Vaping at our school is not tolerated. As it states in the student handbook on page 33, it is a second level offense for the “use of tobacco products including e-cigarettes.” So don’t think that the rules only apply to combustible cigarettes, you will still get in trouble.
If you’re caught vaping the first referral is two extended detentions, second is two days of in-school suspension, third is a five-day suspension, and getting a fourth referral brings you into the third level disciplinary category which consists of another five day suspension just for the first referral.
Any student should also keep in mind that all vape paraphernalia found is confiscated and not returned to the student and/or family.
The Law and Vaping
After a brief interview with our School Resource Officer, Officer Knapp, the law says that any violation of the law for anyone 16 and under is an arrest. 15 and under is an arrest or the individuals are sent to the Community Review Board (CRB).
Students who are the ages 16-17 recieve a $50 fine their first time, but from then on the fine is worth $100. Students that are 17 can be offered to see the CRB. once there it’s up to them what happens. Usually they must do some kind of P.S.A., but they could also be required to do community service, counselling, and drug tests.
Students the ages 18 and up are not within any violation of criminal law, so they face school discipline.
The biggest advice I can give? Just don’t start. If you have and want help, there are many resources to help you, simply speak to your school counselor, nurse, administrator, or resource officer.
By: Kareena Khadar
Have you ever set eight alarms just to snooze all of them in the morning? As much as waking up before sunrise should be illegal, there are a surprising amount of ways to help yourself wake up easily and on time. Here are some tips:
Have a Better Sleeping Environment:
Getting the right amount of sleep is very important for your body's health so it just might be a good idea to adjust your sleep schedule to tie in some of these tips and tricks.
by: Tanya Messenger
In Super Bowl LIII, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will battle it out on CBS Sunday, February 3 at 6:30 pm. I interviewed students and teachers from WHS to see who they will be rooting for in Super Bowl LIII and how they are preparing for it.
Marc J. Mirizzi is a WHS staff member who is rooting for the Patriots at his house on Sunday. He is hoping that if Patriots win, Tom Brady will retire. Mirizzi will be “relaxing on the couch with chips and salsa and soda” to watch the football game.
Staff member Jacklyn Malizia told me in her interview that she is rooting for the Rams at her house in Wethersfield this weekend. Malizia’s husband and “his friends were Rams fans through thick and thin.” Mr. Malizia’s friends will come over on Sunday and they will have stromboli, chicken wings, and drinks to watch the big game.
Stephanie Breglio (class of 2020) is rooting for the Patriots at her friend’s house in Wethersfield. She watches the Super Bowl because it is a tradition, she has been watching it “since she was a little girl.” They will have appetizers and soda.
Interviewing senior Maddy Hickey, she was so excited to talk about the Patriots. She will be with her friends at First Church of Christ in Old Wethersfield watching the game and she said, “I’m going to have an emotional breakdown because the Patriots need to win again.” She watches the game because she has been a Pats fan her entire life. Maddy will be watching it on the big TV with all her Pats gear this Sunday.
My third interview with a student was Devon Sienna, who will be rooting for the Patriots. He will be watching at home in Wethersfield, CT. He said, “The only reason I watch it is because there will be food.” His dad will be watching it too, Devon probably will watch it on his computer.
Most students and WHS staff members will be rooting for the Patriots. If you enjoy playing or watching football, then this weekend on CBS at 6:30 pm get your friends and family to watch the two best teams battling to win. Who do you think will win?
By John Gregory
A lot of genres thrive and grow in the music industry. Genres that make u snap your fingers, groove all night, or just to listen to when your alone with your thoughts is the music of the world. Mr. Edward Krech, a long time record store owner of 40 plus years sells records consisting of R&B Soul, Rock n’ Roll, Blues and mainly Jazz.
By Lianna Montalvo
I believe most can agree that children are what brings town and communities together. As some might have cookouts others choose to dine out on a crisp sunny day, what other way to do that by bringing your children to an atmosphere made perfect for children.
Living Right at Live Right Wellness: An insight into The Business and Ventures of Owner Kerri Abronzino
By Chelsea Pinchera
In the recent decade, specifically the last couple of years, our world and society have shifted focus. In the past, America has been known as one of the most unhealthy nations, but we are starting to see a difference in this social reality.
From long days at school, to long nights at home, Tammy Luiz has put her family and her students first no matter what. Her determination is truly inspiring and has a long lasting affect not only with the kids she works with as a paraprofessional, but also her own children.
By Alison Fitzpatrick
For Bobbie Granato, Wethersfield was always home. Although she never saw herself returning to her home, nevertheless teaching at her old elementary school. Let’s bring it back to the beginning of how Granato got involved in education. She started teaching swim lessons at Mill Woods, those interactions with children are the things that decided it for her. She initially wanted no part of returning to her hometown, applying for a teaching job in Australia, but the economy brought her back.
By Ajla Ahmetovic
A staple in the Wethersfield community has been the Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center. A learning and education center that puts its focus on the environment and animals. A closer look into this small but impactful part of the community is taken in a written interview with the Director of the Nature Center, Patrick Telman.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.