Right off the corner of Central Avenue and 32nd Street in Dubuque, you’ll find a small family owned vape shop named The Great Vape. Tom Wall, along with his wife Holly Wall, have been in business selling vape items since 2013.

Tom mentions that, “Business is good. We have a lot of repeat customers, a lot of new customers, older people trying to get off cigarettes coming in.”

But with recent light being shed on vaping related respiratory issues, one demographic being impacted the most is young adults. According to the 2018 Iowa Youth Survey, students as early as junior high started experimenting with vaping, with 22 percent of high school students doing it as well.

Mae Hingtgen, The Director of Behavior & Learning Supports for the Dubuque Community School District, tells us, “Two years ago, we had very little instances of vaping, and we have seen a dramatic increase in these last two years…we now see high school students, occasionally middle school students who are using vape pens and have them at school, sometimes even in class…”

I think some of the manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vaping products have rewarded young adults and teens for sharing on social media, so, I think there’s a big social component to it.

Mae hIngtgen – dubuque schools

With vaping being such a popular trend, many believe the social impact is even more concerning. More and more younger individuals are picking up vaping as a way to socialize with others.

However, we are now starting to see a change in how this national epidemic is being approached. Many cities and communities, Chicago being one of the first, are planning to incorporate educational opportunities to, not just warn youth about the dangers of vaping, but discourage it once and for all.

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