Dear Editor: Ever since we learned the alphabet, my classmates and I have been told the same thing: don’t smoke, as smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the nation. So if we’re being told that e-cigarettes have similar effects to real cigarettes, why are we so open to accepting the same toxins in a different form?

As of 2018, an estimated 3.6 million high school students use e-cigarettes, and this is not by accident. E-cigarette companies have been aggressively targeting America’s youth via relentless social media marketing, sponsoring music festivals and sellingT flavored aerosols. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 66 percent of teens who use vaping devices believe the e-liquids contain only flavoring — a detrimental misconception. What’s really inside is just as shocking as it is toxic: heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead, along with benzene. So how can youth vaping be combated? Enticing flavors like cinnamon, fruit blends and vanilla often contribute to a child's decision to try e-cigarettes, so a ban on these flavored concoctions can be the difference between choosing a healthy lifestyle or an epidemic.

Kaitlyn Anderson

Monona

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