Congratulations to Lilla Lavanakul for being the recipient of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm’s Dangers of Vaping Scholarship.
Lilla graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 2019 with majors in theater and business economics, and she recently entered UCI’s law school. Lilla’s essay was detailed, informative, and highly personal. At 21, she is the demographic that was first marketed by e-cigarette companies and told that vaping was a “safe alternative to cigarettes.”
“We’ve been taught our whole lives that smoking cigarettes are bad for you,” Lilla said in her interview with us. But vaping was introduced as something without risk.
The candy-flavored vapes are reminiscent of Halloween. That, coupled with being able to smoke indoors, make vaping seductive to young people, she wrote.
“Over 50 % of the people I know vape,” she said.
Lilla cited a number of studies in her essay, including a Harvard Health Publishing report that clearly lays out the health risks of vaping. Such risks include severe lung disease, nicotine exposure, and burns from exploding defective batteries.
For Lilla, the viral videos of young people in the hospital took her right back to almost a decade ago when her younger brother, Will, then a 10-year-old with asthma, spent two weeks in intensive care “fighting for his life because his lung’s airways were too restricted to be able to maintain airflow.”
Lilla told us in her interview that it was the holiday season and her parents, Tai and Tan, were at her brother’s bedside while Lilla anxiously waited at home. Fortunately, Will regained his health and is now a college student at the University of California Berkeley.
Lilla, a Dublin, CA, native, is a serious student who was selected to the UCI chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which honors only 5% of graduating seniors. She is also an actor with her own IMDB page. She graduated college in three years and then took the year between college and law school to pursue an acting career.
Pintas & Mullins are proud that Lilla’s passion for the law supersedes her passion for the stage. For the last 35 years, our firm has fought hard to defend people who have been harmed by another person’s actions. We’ve helped people around the country.
Read Lilla’s winning essay here.