Opinion Piece and Editorials

Vaping causes illness, death

By Craig Reese


Vaping is a dangerous habit to develop as it can be harmful to the body’s vital organs such as the brain and lungs. This fact is even more important to users who are under the age of 25 because they are still under development. The use of electronic cigarettes can increase the risk of further addiction to other drugs that are even more dangerous.

Unfortunately, some of my friends whom I have known for years and ones I have known for only a couple of months use the product. Some even use chewing tobacco, drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. Sometimes I wonder if their choices were based on their surroundings, curiosity, family members who use the products or peer pressure. 

E-cigarettes have been commonly used since 2014, and dual use of conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes is common among people ages 18 to 24 as stated by the U.S. Surgeon General’s government website. The website also indicates the trend of usage of e-cigarettes leading consumers to also become addicted to nicotine when they smoke conventional cigarettes at the same time.

Additionally, users may not even realize what is within the liquid solutions that are smoked in e-cigarettes. The solution includes various flavorings (such as coconut, cotton candy, chocolate and more), nicotine and sometimes even marijuana.  An article published by the Drug Enforcement Administration on its website stated, “Vaping marijuana (THC oil) can be more dangerous than smoking the drug.” This shows that breathing in the intensified vapor can be risky to consumers, and that means to me that e-cigarettes should be avoided. 

Usage of the concentrated drug may even create higher chances of becoming addicted and even medical consequences to a person’s body.

Moreover, I also fear that one day my friends who use e-cigarettes will not be there to talk to or have fun with. I have no desire to use e-cigarettes myself but I also appreciate people’s right to choose for themselves even if they are my friends, especially ones who have been in my life even longer.

If they wish to use e-cigarettes then I will not try to stop them, in return, when I am in their presence, I will ask for them to refrain from using them.

Road to education filled with potholes

By Craig Reese


Education at a higher level is powerful and is a road to success. But what if the road is filled with potholes, impossible distances, broken-down vehicles or a lack of public transportation and other various roadblocks? 

Getting into school for students is much easier than expected, but what about traveling to the school. Schools need to make sure every student attending has some way that is reliable to get to where they will need go. 

This problem is often overlooked, and transportation can cause students issues with achieving the knowledge needed to succeed, as well as in life, without some solutions that may help make the route to a higher education simpler to travel.

First, students often live in dorms, which might make it easier to attend class; however, many undergraduate students are considered nontraditional and instead live off-campus, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. This is one obvious issue that is commonly overlooked. 

A few students may be lucky enough to live close for an easy walk to the campus while many others live at a distance that makes walking to campus impossible. 

Maybe a student has no problem with reaching school or maybe he or she lives in a dorm or is lucky enough to have great public transportation to the campus. 

The issue with transportation does not stop at the parking lot; in some cases, trying to get around the campus alone can be difficult, especially when a campus may cover dozens of acres and have a multitude of buildings to travel past.

Furthermore, students who choose to live on campus, may have to spend more money than those living off-campus. Financial aid or work study jobs may fill in the gaps enough to make it possible to afford. 

Living on campus and walking to classes will save expenses on vehicles, including maintenance and especially gas, which can improve affordability for living on campus. 

Maybe the use of a bicycle would be a better option for traveling to class for students on campus and those off-campus who live nearby if the campus is large. 

Not only does it provide exercise, it will also help to lessen congestion on the roads. 

Also, a bicycle can allow for the freedom of going to classes on the student’s own schedule, but it is not one that is based on routes like the public transits. Many colleges even support bike use as a means of transportation by providing spaces to park and lock the bike, or they have dedicated bike lanes at buildings around the campus.

Additionally, carpooling for students who live in the same area and are heading to the college on the same day might be another perfect solution. This will involve a set schedule to balance the decision of who drives on the days that the students attend and how much money gas will cost if splitting it, but it can work out quite well if developed properly. 

Currently, no service is set exactly like this, but creating a carpool program might be an idea to bring to the school. It could work like Uber without the exorbitant prices. This can help students learn more about the economy through sharing.

Overall, students have options to choose from, especially those who do not live within walking distance and lack a car to travel to campus. Whether by foot, bike, car or bus, students should have some options. 

Help give students an opportunity to reach the road to success in their educational route by providing transportation options. Students can also do their part by asking if any students in their classes live close to them and forming carpools.