Vaporizers, or E-cigarettes, have officially been banned from Riverside Secondary after a vape exploded in a student’s backpack. The school was evacuated and the fire department arrived, resulting in the crackdown of vapes on school property.

Although vaporizers were never encouraged, the Riverside Secondary students were allowed to vape in the smoke pit, alongside people who smoked cigarettes. But now that this incident has occurred, there is no toleration for vapes on or near school property.

Many people aren’t aware that vapes aren’t just a recreational thing, but a lot of teens and adults are trying to wean themselves off cigarettes. The difference between cigarettes and vaporizers is the chemicals in cigarettes. According to the American Lung Association, there are approximately 600 ingredients in a cigarette, and once lit it creates 7000 chemicals. Within those chemicals, 69 of these chemicals are both cancerous and poisonous.  But in no means is vaporizers completely safe either, there are three known chemicals in vaporizers, one being nicotine. Although it is known that vapes have a lot less chemicals than cigarettes, there hasn’t been enough research on vapes to inform users just exactly how unhealthy they may be. Vape juice is made from food flavoring, but it is not known what the long term effects on vaporizing food flavorings are. Although it has been tested that the vapor released is completely harmless to bystanders, unlike cigarettes.

The main concern with vaporizers is the fact that the batteries can explode. The explosions can be extreme and the vaporizer can vent fire, liquid and gasses. But there are ways to be cautious and even prevent these explosions from occurring. Typically, the part that will explode is the battery, which is typically made from Lithium. Lithium batteries can often reach a critical temperature and that is partly due to the lack of knowledge on the limits of these batteries. Often, vaporizers can be left in the sun or even over-used and the user doesn’t understand that there is a limit on how much the batteries can handle. A safety precaution that could be taken is when the vape is not in use, to remove the batteries. By inquiring about what kind of batteries a vaporizer uses, it can potentially eliminate all harm.

Grade 10 student, Josh Ward has an opinion on this matter. “Throughout the school, there are many avid vape users, and few cigarette smokers, but since the day that the vaporizers got banned, the number of students in the smoke pit has tripled. On a very rare occasion do I still see people using vapes, and it’s mainly off school property. A lot of my friends have turned to cigarettes and I feel really bad about it because I know the health difference between vapes and cigarettes. Even my mom after years of smoking has taken up vaping to wean herself off,” says Ward.

The explosion danger is a real one and a valid reason to ban vapes at schools, but if you’re going to smoke, many people feel vaping is the least harmful to your health. By educating yourself on both options, you can save your own personal health.