Speaker come to spread awareness about dangers of nicotine

Teagan Redinger, Lily Robison, Reporter

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Guest speaker Tara Nolen came to spread awareness about the dangers of nicotine.

Many students started doing it to make them look cool, none of them thought it would lead to addiction. Maize High SAFE had guest speaker Tara Nolen, tobacco control coordinator come talk to the students about how addictive vaping has become.

“It [nicotine] is a very addictive drug,” Nolen said. “It is more addictive than alcohol or cocaine and as addictive as heroin.”

Nolen said Nicotine changes the brain, especially in young people. Nicotine can increase anxiety and attention spans can decrease.

Many of the youth consumers think vape products help you concentrate on tasks but it actually produces opposite results.

“It [nicotine] can increase your anxiety. It’s hard for you to pay attention,” Nolen said. “You may think that you’re using it because it helps you study a bit better, maybe it makes you concentrate, but it actually does quite the opposite.”

Many teens know the dangers of vaping, many ignore the risk and others are addicted to the product. 

“I don’t see or hear it [talked about] as often as it happens. There are a lot of students who juul or use vape products and it is a really big problem,” sophomore Hailee Landwehr said. 

Some students benefited from the presentation and found many pieces of information useful. 

“I thought it [the presentation] was pretty interesting and informative,” Landwehr said. 

Landwehr wasn’t the only student who thought the presentation was necessary. The presentation brought the situation into the light for students freshman Karsyn Slothower said.

“I thought it [the presentation] really shined a light on how bad vaping addiction is within teens and how vaping companies target teenagers,” Slothower said. 

The end goal was to inform students about the risk and danger associated with vaping. 

“I took away [from the presentation] that even though everybody’s doing it and the way they [companies] advertise it doesn’t seem nearly as bad as cigarettes, but it’s worse and if it continues to get worse, then they’ll definitely be more problems caused and probably more teen deaths and infections in the lungs,” Slothower said.