The Vaping Epidemic: Fruit-Flavored and Fatal


Vaping is killing people

The same vaping epidemic that is causing deaths all across the U.S. is spreading into the lives of Lincoln High School students. Lincoln Lion Tales, disturbed with this information, has decided to discuss the new vaping policy at Lincoln. 

Last year at Lincoln, staff hosted an assembly to discuss vaping consequences to combat the issue. However, it failed to reduce vaping trends because students viewed it as a condescending threat if they were to be caught. Staff used a photo of a child on a leash as a comparison to students who were reprimanded for vaping in school, instead of emphasizing the health concerns and addiction risks associated with nicotine and THC products. This year, Lincoln administration decided to change their approach to focusing on the student body. 

We interviewed Mattthew Hewitson to find out more about the new vaping policy and his perspective on the matter. When asked about it, Hewitson said “ …no significant changes to policy in terms of what’s allowed, and not allowed… we’ve just been having an enforcement blitz, and really providing more supervision in the bathrooms. To be honest with you, at the request of students.” The new policies being enforced range from sign-out sheets in classrooms, the 10-10 Rule, and a supervisor who escorts you around if incriminated. The sign-out sheets are used to keep track of which students leave during class and to monitor how much time they are outside of the classroom. The 10-10 Rule is used to limit the amount of time in the restrooms; students are unable to use the restrooms in the first and last ten minutes of the period. If incriminated, students must be escorted around campus and to the restrooms during class time.

When asked how many individuals are affected by the new policy change, Hewitson stated, “…there are about fifteen kids that have a restriction when using the bathroom…” 

In the assembly previously mentioned, staff also bluffed that they would install vape detectors with a surveillance system. Students noticed that they had never actually been installed, making their warnings even more illegitimate. Hewitson updated us on the status of installing the detectors, saying that they are “in the works”. He also stated that “Cindy Chavez, the county supervisor, got us a $15,000 grant which would cover the purchase and installation of probably 2-4 of them”, however he said for a couple of reasons, such as the cost of installation and maintenance, San Jose Unified School District is holding off the installation. 

When questioned about his hopes for students struggling with addiction, Hewitson emphasized his concerns with the hidden health ramifications of vaping and stated that  “… even if you’re not one of these people that end up in the hospital…it does have an impact on your life and it can really affect you for a long time. There is help available, there’s support, counselors that can help them through that”

With this new vaping policy, Lincoln’s administration, staff, and students hope to slow down the vaping epidemic and protect our students’ mental and physical health.

Lincoln’s Available Resources are listed here.