Middle School Essay Contest Winner: Isabel Pacheco

*Integration Charter Schools held a district-wide essay contest on the dangers and health hazards of vaping. Here is middle school winner, 7th grade’s Isabel Pacheco’s, winning piece.

Did you know that 1 in 20 middle schoolers used E-Cigarettes in 2018? I bet you didn’t because not many people are paying attention to what companies like Juul and Big Tobacco are doing. “What Juul Tried to Hide ” by Joey Bartolomeo informed the readers about how kids and teens have gotten hurt using the product. ” How Big Tobacco Fooled America ” by Jennifer Dignan talks about how a cigarette company tricked America into believing their lies. E-Cigarette and tobacco companies like Juul and Big Tobacco try to trick teens into becoming human cash bags.

Juul and Big Tobacco may be different products but are similar in more ways than one. They both found a way to make their product seem appealing and cool. Juul makes ads that display people using their products as happy and strong. Big Tobacco used popular cartoon characters and doctors in ads so teens would be more inclined to try a cigarette. Juul made vapes that come in flavors such as bubblegum, mango, or tutti frutti. Those flavors cover the nicotine taste that ultimately could drive someone away from buying a vape. Big Tobacco’s cigarettes were found to cause lung cancer which people didn’t want. They decided to make “ filtered” cigarettes which they claimed were safer and milder. In reality, “filtered” cigarettes were just as dangerous as regular cigarettes. 

Kid are vaping constantly throughout the day. Companies are taking advantage of the new generation and are depending on them for income. If we find a way to protect ourselves, those companies might shut down and stop producing their products. In order for this to happen, we have to speak up! Without speaking up, our voices will never be heard. We can help people who vape or smoke get the help they need so they can quit and stay healthy. We can make campaigns and ads to promote not smoking or vaping. Our generation deserves a say in how the world is now, so the world we dream about can be the one we’re living in. 

Juul is fooling America just like Big Tobacco did years before. Articles like “What Juul Tried To Hide” by Joey Bartolomeo are raising awareness of the world’s current situation. An article like “How Big Tobacco Fooled America” by Jennifer Dignan can help people understand how someone can be manipulated to the point where they risk their own life. Juuling and smoking may seem like it’ll make you look cool and trendy but is lung cancer trendy? Is lung cancer cool? You may see your friend taking a hit from a vape and think to yourself “if I do that maybe I’ll fit in.” However, what you should really be doing is telling them about what iss in a vape and if they knew what half of things that are in them. Don’t let yourself or anyone you know become a human cash bag for companies like Juul and Big Tobacco.