Paola High School • 401 N. Angela • Paola, KS 66071
E-Cigarettes explode in popularity
photo illustration by Jackson Setter A student holds an e-cigarette confiscated by the administration. E-cigeratte usage has increased amongst high school students.
jackson setter opinion editor Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are a new fad vice principal Jeff T. Hines doesn’t foresee lasting long. “Like most new things, everyone wants to try it out,” Hines said. “Plus it makes people feel rebellious.” Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that vaporize flavored liquid meant to replace cigarettes. Some liquids may contain nicotine, while others may be nicotine free. Nicotine is an addictive substance in both electronic cigarettes and convential cigarettes. According to the Center for Disease Control, electronic cigarette usage among high school students increased from 4.7 percent to 10 percent during 2011-2012. Although they don’t contain tobacco, e-cigarettes are still banned in tobacco-free zones, such as schools. Hines said the board of education adopted the following policy: “Smoking by students and/or the possession or use of any other tobacco product or electronic cigarette is prohibited in any district facility; in school vehicles; at school-sponsored, activities, programs, or events, and on school property. Administrators may report students who are in violation of this policy to the appropriate law enforcement agency.” Possession or the use of an electronic cigarette warrants the same three-day out-of-school suspension as the use of chewing tobacco or cigarettes. Senior Augustus* said he doesn’t see a problem with using electronic cigarettes.
Lending a hand natalie eppler reporter Noodles, sandwiches, canned goods and clothing: the items junior Cassye Blanc and other Uplift volunteers bring the 2,434 homeless in Kansas City are constantly changing, but the goal is not. “I go to Kansas City to feed the homeless,” Blanc said. Once a month, Blanc goes with her church, Holy Trinity, to Uplift. According to Uplift’s website, it is an organization dedicated to caring for the homeless living in Kansas City. While there, the group fills vans with hot meals, canned goods and clothing. They then travel on one of three routes distributing the needed supplies. “A lot of [the homeless] thank us,” Blanc said. “A lot say you brighten my day or God bless.” Blanc has volunteered with Uplift seven times and has learned a lot along the way.
“Some choose to be homeless,” Blanc said. “It is difficult to see how they live and how they could live.” Like Blanc, senior Kelsey Slawson has learned to put others before herself. “It’s a fun way to get involved with your community and have fun at the same time,” Slawson said. By participating in Camp Out for Cash, Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat, taco feeds, benefit tournaments and other community service projects Slawson has learned to be grateful for everything. “It’s good to give back,” math teacher and cheerleading coach Natalie Steutermann said. “What good is playing video games or shopping when you could be out helping a good cause?” Steutermann volunteers at Prairie Paws, an Ottawa animal shelter. Steutermann has also introduced the cheerleading squad to
“It’s not harming anyone else and I enjoy it, so why not do it?” he said. Although he has never smoked a cigarette, Augustus said e-cigarettes are healthier than regular cigarettes. Augustus said electronic cigarettes are cheaper than regular cigarettes. His main reason for using an e-cigarette isn’t for the nicotine, he said. “I have it to do smoke tricks and plus it tastes good,” Augustus said. “It’s also relaxing in times of stress.” He said he plans on using it for a while “I’ll use it as long as it brings me joy,” he said. “I think this trend will last a while.” Unlike Augustus, senior Hazel* started using electronic cigarettes because she didn’t like the odor of conventional cigarettes. “I didn’t like the way I smelled and my teeth weren’t white,” she said. “Everything was gross.” She was skeptical about transitioning to electronic cigarettes. “I used to think it was worse for you than regular cigarettes,” Hazel said. “I also used to think it was trashy.” She said got addicted to her e-cigarette, but switched to nicotine-free flavored juice. *Names have been changed at the discretion of The Reporter staffmembers
Vaporizing: see page 2
Blanc, Slawson, Steutermann, Thompson, Aguinaga volunteer in spare time
the shelter. “I want my girls to learn to help out just because it is a good thing not just to earn points,” Steutermann said. Steutermann said the cheerleading squad held a fundraiser on Nov. 2 raising money and collecting goods. Developmental Leadership teacher Cristie Sims has witnessed the effects of helping others in the last six years she has taught the class. “It’s a ripple effect,” Sims said. “A lot think volunteering is just for that person, but in turn it helps the volunteer as well.” Students in the Developmental Leadership class volunteer in a variety of ways including: teaching senior citizens how to use cell phones, participating in Campout for Cash, recycling and working at benefit tournaments. “Volunteering means providing for other
people,” sophomore Sean Thompson said. On Oct. 27, Thompson helped distribute plastic bags and information about Trick or Treat so Kids can eat to homes in Paola. “[High School students should volunteer] to help out other people instead of themselves,” sophomore Andrew Aguinaga said. Aguinaga helps train middle school wrestlers “They were really thankful,” Aguinaga said. “Because of me they won the match.”
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