Homestead’s Fight Against Vapes

How Homestead is Cracking Down on Vaping and a Look Into Vaping’s Effects on Teens

black background vape pen vaping

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black background vape pen vaping

Elaina Schilt & Yevva Ireland, Writer/design

Student vaping has become a prevalent issue in high schools across the nation, and Homestead High

School is no exception.


The school board began discussing new policies to discourage vaping in March of 2022, deciding that at the start of the 2022-2023 school year, students caught using e-cigarettes on school grounds will be recommended for expulsion.

At a Southwest Allen County Schools’ board meeting in March, the board stated its reasons for implementing this policy. The policy’s aim is to reduce the disruption caused by e-cigarettes and to reduce the use of such products in order to preserve the mental and physical health of students.

Homestead’s Assistant Principal Jeff Kintz explained the policy changes, stating that “because it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have a vape in their pos-

session and on a school campus, there won’t be a period of out-of-school suspension. It will be a recommendation for expulsion.”

This change was necessary because of the increase in vaping at Homestead and the consequent concern for students’ health.


The long-term health effects of vaping are just beginning to surface. Homestead chemistry teacher Rob Dillman said, “brains are not fully developed until around age 25. When students intake nicotine through vaping, they can harm the developing parts of the brain that control attention, learning and impulse control.” Nicotine also affects the receptors of many gratification-related neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin.

This can cause some teens who use nicotine devices to lose interest in sports or hobbies that they used to

enjoy. E-cigarettes were advertised as a safer alternative to help people quit smoking cigarettes, yet many developed a dependence on vapes.

Although e-cigarettes may not contain many of the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes, they still contain the highly-addictive nicotine. Dillman shared that “people are under the misconception that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes, when in fact e-cigs contain a much higher concentration of nicotine. The oils from the flavoring chemicals can accumulate in the lungs and cause short and long

term damage.”

Sophomore Alyssa Niuh explained that she knew someone who vaped, “and it really took a toll on their mental and physical health.” Even if it doesn’t feel like it now, vape use could greatly hinder your life in the future.


Companies such as JUUL, SMOK and Geekvape offer a large variety of flavors, including cotton candy, bubblegum and berry, which are enticing to teens. Because of the effect that they have had on teen vaping, some states have banned flavored e-cigarettes altogether.

In recent years, e-cigarette companies have substantially increased spending on advertisements from under $7 million to $115 million. The 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey reported that 70% of middle and high school students had been exposed to an e-cigarette ad.

This increase in advertising has had a major effect on the number of teens vaping. According to Truth Initiative, 18.5% of Indiana high school students have used an e-cigarette in the past month.

Using emotional appeals is another way that these companies target teenagers with their advertising. According to the Addiction Prevention Coalition, many advertisements depict happiness and friendship to appeal to younger audiences. This connection has been noticed by many people, and JUUL continues to be bombarded with lawsuits.

In 2021, North Carolina sued the company for promoting vaping among youth. Even though JUUL didn’t admit to targeting teens, the company agreed to pay North Carolina a fee of $40 million.


The goal of the new discipline policy regarding vapes is to discourage vaping altogether and to protect

students from the harmful effects of this dangerous trend. Furthermore, it is aimed at preventing students from facing the pressure to start vaping while at school.

If you or someone you know are currently struggling with addiction, talk to a friend, a family member or even call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) line (1-800-662-4357) to discuss finding treatment.