Pintas & Mullins Law Firm would like to extend their congratulations to Jaden Musacchio of Cassville, GA, the 2021 recipient of the $2,500 Dangers of Vaping Scholarship.
The personal injury firm chose Jaden’s essay based on the eloquent and informative way her essay answered the question, “What are the dangers of vaping and why do you choose not to vape?”
Jaden, a recent graduate of Cass High School in White, Georgia, wrote that when she entered high school, the vaping culture was all around her: bathrooms, classrooms, even athletics.
Those Who Vaped, and Those Who Didn’t
By the end of her first semester, Jaden realized her peers were quickly segregating into two groups: those who vaped and those that didn’t. At that young age, she wasn’t sure which side of the fence she would land on.
When she entered her first high school soccer season, the pressure from the older students was nearly enough to make her try it. Yet, questions plagued her: “Am I a normal teenager even though I don’t vape? What are the older players thinking about me?”
High School Stressors
Jaden wrote in her essay that as her high school years progressed, the challenges only increased. She witnessed more and more people turn to vaping to artificially “soothe their nerves and calm down at the end of a long day.”
As Jaden struggled with the stress from her more challenging classes, she saw the relaxed look on the faces of her peers and was nearly drawn in to try it herself.
However, it was Jaden’s resilience that stopped her younger self in her tracks, preventing her from giving in to this new source of social pressure. “I managed to avoid the habit long enough to realize the dangers and downfalls that hid behind fruity flavors and temporary release.”
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Words from Mom and Family Habits
Yet, it was her mother’s lectures on addictive personalities that evoked thoughts of family members who were dependent on alcohol and cigarettes.
Jaden understood that if she vaped even on occasion, her genetic predisposition to addiction could lead her to a full-blown addiction. So she decided to honor the vow she made to herself not to base her life on a “temporary vice.”
Vaping and COVID-19
Jaden wrote that COVID-19 led many vapers to give up the habit for good. However, not without side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Those that quit vaping experienced severe side effects, including depression and fatigue, mere hours after giving it up.
Jaden recognized that those who sustained their vaping habit during the pandemic could compromise their healthy respiratory systems, leaving them vulnerable to the virus.
“Those who continued to vape have put themselves in a high-risk category they may not have initially belonged to.”
College and Life Beyond
As Jaden neared the end of her high school days, she saw vaping left many of her peers with habits they couldn’t break. Those who played sports and vaped had to work harder to remain in shape because their lungs worked harder to keep up.
And she realized that deep down, her peers didn’t care whether she vaped or not, and if they did, it didn’t matter anyway.
“If I had become dependent on vaping,” she wrote, “I would have lost the pride I have for myself and my strength that has kept me going on the right path this far and will push me into college and life beyond.”
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About the Dangers of Vaping Scholarship
The founding partners of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, William Pintas and Laura Mullins, are passionate about helping injured people. They created the Dangers of Vaping Scholarship to bring better awareness of the health risks of vaping.