As a Boy Scout, I am learning about communication for a merit badge.

I am a student in the Dubuque Community School District, and am concerned with the proliferation of vape pens among my fellow students. I feel that young people are being misled as to the safety and health risks associated with these devices.

Irfan Rahman, a toxicologist at the University of Rochester in New York, discovered that the vapors from a vape pen inflame mouth cells, which potentially causes gum disease, as reported in an article at

Young people assume these devices are safe and don’t have any health risks, but these vapors are found to be more harmful than previously thought.

The article goes on to explain the findings of a study conducted by a team at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles involving 2,000 high school students. The study found greater susceptibility of young people to develop chronic bronchitis who use vape pens.

I believe that the community should be made more aware of the dangers of these devices and that we should do more to discourage their use among young people.

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