Ask The Editors: 1st Edition


As e-cigarettes become increasing common, many are concerned about their potential health issues.

Clarice Beasley and Alex Bridgeman

Hi all! We recently implemented an Ask the Editors feature on the site, and we got some great submissions.

In our inaugural edition, we answer questions about the growth of e-cigarettes, gender inequality, Israel and Palestine, and the desire for polls.

If you’d like to ask the editors a question, you can do so here:


Question #1 from Rocket Power Rules!:

Why do you believe that the growth of e-cigarettes and hookah pen type products have spread so rapidly without any real look into the potential harms that may or may come along with them?

Clarice’s Response:

Dear Rocket Power Rules!,

I think that the growth of hookah pen types and e-cigarettes can be chalked up to the idea that teenagers want to be doing the “next best thing”. It’s a little frightening to see the use of these types of products skyrocket without any serious looks into the effects of them on people’s health. As with cigarettes, people thought they were harmless, until real research was done and it turned out that cigarettes were pretty much deadly over time.

Vape pens are accessible, hookah bars are appearing everywhere, and people are becoming hung up on the idea that these types of nicotine consumption aren’t as harmful as others… But I think what they fail to see is that it’s still nicotine, in essence. Though it has religious roots, I think the more widespread use of hookah is coming from people who aren’t using it in the “traditional” sense.

While vape pens don’t actually have nicotine in them, the studies that have been done to show the long term effects of these products are inconclusive and incomplete. There are no major studies showing the effects of vape pens on anyone.

It’s saddening that our generation simply wants to get their hands on the next best type of “fill in” drug. I would hope that in the future people look into the things they are consuming before simply believing someone when they say “it isn’t dangerous.”

Alex’s Response:

Dear Rocket Power Rules!,

Whenever a new product or service comes out that people get really excited about, there’s going to be some leeway given by customers to certain negative effects of a product. However, many negative effects are discovered long after a product is released.

The shoe-fitting fluoroscope, invented in 1927, was very popular because it would take an x-ray of a customer’s feet in order to get the right shoe fit and size. It wasn’t until 1948 that studies discovered high levels of radiation related problems and cancers among the salesmen who worked with the machines, in addition to the thousands of customers who used them to find the right shoe. Ironically, many of the customers got radiation poisoning and didn’t need shoes or socks anymore (amputation).

Now I am not saying these e-cigarettes don’t have harmful effects that we may discover at a much later date, but I am urging caution and for people to exercise their due diligence when it comes to buying a newly released product or service. So far, few major side effects have been reported and they are certainly safer than their alternative: real cigarettes with tobacco.

I think that, especially with all the advertising against tobacco smoking, teenagers are becoming more concerned with their own health and see tobacco’s dangers and long term effects. I certainly don’t want my life short thanks to overpriced paper and leaves rolled in a stick and I think the vast majority of us would agree.

I always encourage others against tobacco due to my own beliefs, the destruction it causes to the body, and the toll it has taken on certain members of my family. I would definitely encourage e-cigarettes over tobacco any day of the week, but I wouldn’t encourage e-cigarettes by themselves. Overall, I think teenagers are looking for ways to get around the health problems tobacco presents and see e-cigarettes as a worthy alternative and something new to try.


Question #2 from Not Baertlein:

I want more polls. give me more polls

Clarice’s Response:

Dear Not Baertlein,

Patience, you must have. We are definitely focused on getting more polls up all the time. We have gotten consistent feedback and have made it a top priority to add as many polls as we can come up with. I try to get an average of 3 new polls up every time I have 7th period… If you have any ideas for new polls though, let me know! [email protected]. I am taking suggestions Monday-Sunday, 12 AM-12 PM.



Question #3 from FeminismFinest:

How do you feel about sexual inequality? Do you see the gap between education between men and women closing?

Clarice’s Response:

Dear FeminismFinest,

This question is a very difficult one to tackle, but I’ll try to write the most concise response that I can.

By sexual inequality, I’m going to assume you mean gender inequality, and about that, I feel nothing less than disgusted.

When any group of people is oppressed or denied equality, it’s not a surprise that they feel as though the current state of affairs is an outrage. I believe people sometimes expect an immediate response to a problem, when in all actuality, sometimes things take time to come up with educated and effective solutions. Perhaps before the 21st century, this could have been the answer: that we needed time to create change.

But this is gender equality, and this has been a problem for… well, quite frankly, forever. We have given time to legislation makers to change the laws, we have given time to businesses to hire capable and well trained women, and we have given the time to our society to regard sexual assault, rape, and other sex crimes as something more than a cry for “more modest clothes”– and here we stand, still referred to as the weaker sex.

We’ve made small strides towards a solution to the problem of gender inequality. We’re finding that a higher percentage of women are going to college, and a higher percentage are starting their careers better educated than their male counterparts. We’re seeing the pay gap dwindle, we’re seeing young mothers get back into the workforce, and supposedly all gaps are narrowing, if not becoming more exaggerated on the side of women.

However, this start is just that: a start. To fix this problem, we must look to the fundamental ideals that people hold about women. On social media, it is daily that I see accounts such as “The Meninist” appearing on my timelines and feeds. The Meninist. Really. Because men have traditionally suffered such oppression, degradation, and sexism. People are still looking at rape as a problem where the girl can be at fault. As if when somebody is shot, it is not the person holding the gun that is at fault, but the person who has been hit by the bullet.

I see gaps closing, of course. We have made strides as a society and I hope we will continue, as a nation, as a world, on a positive trajectory towards equality. But the problem is not solved, nor will it be until we have reached a point where it is not a conscious effort to bring women to an equal and fair standard in our society, but instinct.



Question #4 from Lebron James:

How should the U.S. handle conflicts between Israel and Palestine?

Alex’s Response:

Dear Lebron James,

I believe the U.S. needs to promote a two state solution that gives Palestine their own state that they control and that is out of the control of Israel. In the early 1900s, Jews from all over the world, especially Europe, left their home nations to move to then Palestine to create their own Jewish state. This desire for a Jewish state, called Zionism, sparked a massive influx of Jewish migrants to Palestine where they made new lives for themselves, while simultaneously buying more of the land in Palestine and playing a larger political role.

Eventually, the Jewish population overtook the local Palestinians and formed Israel, pushing Palestine to the West Bank and further away from the Mediterranean Sea towards Syria. The Palestinians felt repressed by the Jews and violence has become common between the groups over the last half-century.

The best solution I have heard is a two state solution where Israel and the Jews get their own nation, the Palestinians get theirs, and Jerusalem is divided between them. It is in the best interest of the U.S. and Middle East for this violence to end and the U.S. can help get that process moving by advocating for a two state solution and, ideally, getting other nations to advocate for it as well.


Photo Source:[email protected]/16272143521