Article by Phoenix writer Michelle Paszek ’24:
After school on Wednesday, September 22, Dr. Dmitriy Vaysman, MD gave a presentation on the dangers of vaping to the members of the Health Sciences Club in the Biology Lab. “It’s hard to convince young people of anything”, Vaysman started, “Vaping is presented as something cool and not dangerous.” Dr. Vaysman is a Pediatric Pulmonologist at the Catholic Health Services of Long Island and takes care of kids with respiratory and sleep problems.
Junior Amely Nuñez, a member of the club, shared, “Dr. Vaysman explained the dangers and effects nicotine has on, not only yourself but everyone around you extremely well. It was an overall extremely informative experience.”
He started off with the physical effects of vaping – e-cigarettes can explode, set fire, and can cause physical injury. “What we don’t see is worse,” he continued. He then went into the facts of how it impacts teenagers, with a much higher intensity than adults – whether it be a reduced attention span, an increase in recklessness, or a vulnerability to addictions to other substance uses.
Another large part of his presentation was how although it is illegal to sell to teenagers, companies still try to get to young people earlier in hopes that they will retain it for longer. Using advertising tactics and packaging that is youth-friendly, depicts vaping as “cool”, and makes it look appealing to try, many teenagers end up with addictions, some of which to multiple nicotine products. Dr. Vaysman explained that 90% of adult smokers started before age 18 and 95% of those with an addiction started before age 21.
Junior Ada Turcios shared, “I already knew that vaping was dangerous but never knew the full extent of it. You see things on TV but they don’t fully explain it.”