Bucknell Vaping Culture

Just now on my short journey from class to the library, I passed two students vaping. From walks across the quad, to frat parties, and even between classes, you can always spot someone reaching for their Juul or vape pen on Bucknell’s campus. Recently in the news, there has undoubtedly been a spike in scary reports on the dangerous consequences of vaping. Nevertheless, Bucknell students and young adults across the country don’t seem to be quitting any time soon. What has college-aged students so hooked, and will the vaping craze ever come to a halt? 

One Bucknell student explained to me how he began Juuling his junior year of high school. “The party culture at this school has definitely made me want to vape more. I crave nicotine more when I go out and drink.” He continues, “Being around people who are Juuling and vaping constantly makes you want to join in. I probably Juul more [at Bucknell] than when I’m home on breaks.”

Another student told me how she first started vaping when she came to Bucknell. “I started Juuling freshman year on and off. I eventually bought my own Juul going into my sophomore year. My experience at Bucknell has definitely influenced my Juuling habits. Everyone has one—so even when I tried to quit by throwing mine away, I just use someone else’s every time I go out.” 

Bucknell is certainly not the only college campus with a vaping problem. According to a survey by the American College Health Association, college students reported 79.9 percent of their peers had vaped in the past 30 days. 

It is no secret that vaping has been associated with some pretty frightening illnesses, and even deaths among young adults. According to the newest CDC update on vaping lung injuries, "THC products play a role in the outbreak." The CDC's national report found that out of 514 patients, 77% had used products that contained THC, 36% had used exclusively THC vapes, and 16% had used nicotine-only vapes. THC is the active ingredient found in marijuana. Vitamin E acetate, a substance sometimes used as a thickening agent in THC oil vape cartridges, is the primary suspect for what has caused marijuana vapers to get so ill. 

While Juul pods don’t contain THC, it is only a matter of time until we find out what caused the 16% of those nicotine-only vape users to get sick. The CDC also clarifies that there may be more than one cause of this outbreak in lung injury. In the meantime, all vaping products, those containing THC or not, should be avoided. 

The next time you pick up your Juul or vape pen, try to remember the potential risk you are taking. Who needs vape when you can breathe in some fresh Bucknell air?