Lung Cancer Month

Mariah Schroht, Writer

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November marks the month of awareness for lung cancer. This month is an important time to inform people of one the most common cancer types and the world’s deadliest cancers. American Lung Cancer Association says, affects about 2.1 million people and kills 1.7 million each year. One in 12 people will get diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in their lives.  Awareness is very important for the public to understand the causes, risks and prevention of lung cancer.

The increase in vaping is really scary to see especially since we don’t know the long term effects of it. What a lot of people don’t realize is the harmful chemicals that are in the juices and people are putting that into their bodies.”

— Kinsie Davison

Lung Cancer has often been linked to smoking but the prevalence of smoking; however, many are not informed about the risks on the new trend of vaping. With vaping being so new, researchers do not have enough information on the specific effects it has on the human body. What researchers do know, is that the cases they have found are very similar to smoking. Recent studies show serious lung damage in people who vape, even some have lead to deaths. Senior Kinsie Davison says, “The increase in vaping is really scary to see especially since we don’t know the long term effects of it. Students don’t realize is there are harmful chemicals that are in the juices and people are putting that into their bodies.”

Although cigarette use has decreased, the rise in vaping is at a record high. Teens are now more likely to vape than smoke cigarettes because vapes are smaller and easier to hide. The nicotine put into the vape-juice makes them highly addictive, especially so a young audience. The Washington Post reports, “1,080 vaping related injuries have been reported”.

Owatonna’s community is making an effort to reduce the amount of vaping in teens. In October Owatonna passed the T-21 policy. Before this policy was placed, anyone 18 years old and older could purchase tobacco products in Owatonna. This policy now makes it unlawful for anyone under 21 to buy tobacco products. 

The hope is by raising the age, the number of students using tobacco/vaping products will decrease because of the lack of accessibility. Ms. Nancy Williams says, “I think we are very fortunate that our city council voted for T-21, recognizing our students’ health is more important than sales. We know the effects of tobacco on the lungs, but we are still seeing the devastating effects of vaping. I hope T-21 deters OHS students from starting to vape.”

During the month, awareness is spread through various activities such as gatherings, video content and many articles are written in the hope of spreading the facts. Lung cancer is a serious issue, so the spread of awareness is very important for everyone. 

 

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