The Final Blow: Sofia Cole Column


Sofia Cole, co-features editor

“I could quit if I wanted to.”

I have heard this phrase from countless friends, family, and co-workers alike, and it hurts to hear each time. This is one of many lies that addicts tell, choosing to overlook the obvious falsehoods embedded in it, but they are not to blame for this; instead, it is their addiction that has clouded their judgment and just about everything else in their lives.

I am not saying all addicts are liars, but that their addictions cause them to spew mistruths without realizing it. When you take just “one hit” of your friend’s vape, you are pushing yourself down a road of ignorance and deception, not only of others but also of yourself. 

I have seen it play out a dozen times. That “one hit” becomes the only thing they can think about, and before they know it, they are an addict. Some people may be able to take one hit and never pick up a vape again, but more times than not, that person ends up committing to a glamorous life of lying, doing anything to get $20 for that XL Green Apple Posh, and the life-long physical effects.

When I say doing anything for those $20, I mean anything. More times than I would like to remember, my sister would beg 11-year-old me for cash. In my never-ending attempts to win my sister’s approval, I would give her my only money, allowing her to fuel her nicotine addiction.

Without knowing it, my sixth-grade self was essentially handing my 14-year-old sister vapes, and our parents were doing the same thing. After learning what those pleas for cash meant and seeing my sister flip my bedroom upside down looking for her vape, I started to place blame; sometimes at myself, sometimes at my sister, but inevitably, the finger ended up pointed at me.

This cycle is just part of having a loved one who is an addict. You see the parts you love about them, and suddenly, when they pull out their vape, you keep quiet. Too often, you give up the fight and suddenly start to believe that they “could quit if they wanted to”. Yet, the truth I attained from that statement differs from the truth found by my sister or any other addict who made that statement.

An addict says that phrase believing they have the power to easily quit. However, all I think of when I hear addicts lie is how they simply do not want to quit; if they did, it would be an arduous process that’s anything but easy. I have watched firsthand my sister’s attempts at quitting. The anger tantrums alone are enough for me to relinquish.

But if you do put in the effort to quit vaping, it is more than worth it. From all I have seen, nobody has ever regretted quitting an addiction. It may not be a linear process, but for those who are still currently addicted to nicotine, it can get better. 

Most adults do not understand the extent to which vaping has taken over our generation. Adults compare it to the cigarette epidemic of their time and search for compassion, but their sentiment means nothing unless they truly act, which few of them do because often kids disregard them anyway. 

Consequently, that leaves it up to us to do something. 

Do not let your friend try your vape; do not tell your friends where to buy them; do not vape around friends.   trying to quit; and have sympathy for the addicts in your life. 

Be honest with yourself and others about the consequences of vaping. Have respect for your body, and be aware, we do not know the long-term effects of vaping.

 I can speak from personal experience that our generation has had too many family members lost to the ignorance surrounding cigarettes in the past, so please, let our generation be smarter and take action.