With vaping often seen as a “healthier” alternative to smoking cigarettes, the reality is that it’s a habit with severe health consequences. In the essay that won her this year’s Dangers of Vaping Scholarship, Grace Gott highlighted what she sees as a deeper issue related to vaping: mental health.
According to Gott, her generation has been bombarded with well-intentioned public service announcements and campaigns for everything from climate change to drug use. What the anti-vaping campaigns are missing, though, is that many young people turn to vaping as a way to handle their anxieties and escape depressive episodes.
“I believe that people are aware of the dangers of vaping, but that they don’t care until it happens to them,” Gott wrote in her essay. She also pointed out that many people in younger generations can have a sense of fatalism.
“[If] you are told that the world is going to end in the next 30 years anyway,” Gott wrote, “the costly effects to your health do not seem to be an issue.” What we need, according to Gott, is compassion and a focus on mental health.
What Inspires Grace Gott
Gott was inspired to write her winning essay in part by the attempted suicide of her best friend’s sister. This sister had undergone a tracheostomy due to collapsed lungs from vaping, and her resultant difficulties finding healthy coping mechanisms affected Gott.
“Everyone in this world has value even when they struggle to believe that,” wrote Gott. And she plans to put this philosophy to use in the future. An International Studies major at Indiana University, Gott ultimately wants to serve as a foreign service officer. Since officers must be at least 21 years old and she is planning to graduate early, though, she might pursue a master’s degree first.
“[D]irectly following graduation,” Gott told representatives of Pintas & Mullins, “I hope to either get an internship with the state department in Washington, D.C. or work with an NGO enforcing human rights.”
About Pintas & Mullins and the Dangers of Vaping Scholarship
As a personal injury firm headquartered in Chicago, Pintas & Mullins is dedicated to assisting people who have been harmed and injured by others. The firm is also passionate about community betterment and societal change. The Dangers of Vaping Scholarship seeks to highlight this growing health concern among the younger generations while providing funding for students’ education.