Tripod Examines Vaping Culture at Trinity in Wake of Health Cares, Media Coverage Nationally

Amanda Scopelliti ’20

Features Editor

The Center for Disease Control has reported that there has been a vaping illness outbreak in 46 states and 1 territory. Over 800 people have become sick from vaping, and at least 13 have died. Among the 514 cases the CDC has data on, victims reported vaping both THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and nicotine. Early symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and abdominal pain. As the CDC continues to investigate this vaping-related illness, many states are banning the sale of vaping products.

Due to extensive media coverage on vaping, the Tripod conducted an unscientific study of Trinity students on their own e-cigarette use. A survey was posted to all class Facebook groups, and 165 responses were collected. 

Out of the 153 students who responded, 27% said that they currently vape e-cigarettes, while 73% said they don’t. Of those who do vape, 36% reported using e-cigarettes daily, 18% vape a few times a week, 22% use electronic cigarettes a few times a month, and 24% use a few times a year. Only 18% of e-cigarette users haven’t considered quitting or tried to quit, while 27% have considered quitting and 29% said they tried to quit. 16% of students report they have have successfully quit vaping. 

When asked why they vape, the majority of students (30%) said it was for the stimulant effects. 12% said they use electronic cigarettes to socialize and fit in, 9% enjoy the flavor, and only 6% use e-cigarettes as an alternative to regular cigarettes. Other reasons for vaping that students listed include, “The feeling and it’s just a habit now” and, “Bruh I’m trying to look cool. I’m rushing AD.”

96% of students who completed the survey are aware of the recent deaths stemming from e-cigarette use.


Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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