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Vaping Habits of College Students

By Olivia Medina

Medina photo.jpeg

Olivia Medina is a Millersville senior majoring in Biology with a concentration in Pre-Medical Professions. Under the advisement of Dr. Heather Lehman, Olivia is pursuing a thesis on the effects of vaping on esophageal keratinocytes and the vaping habits of college students, which she has been working on since the fall of 2019. Originally her thesis consisted of only bench work, but she expanded her project for a more holistic view of vaping in the college setting. A driving factor behind Olivia’s passion for this project is the novelty; vaping is a relatively recent phenomenon, but most of the current research focuses on the brain and lungs, not 

the esophagus. Additionally, many studies examining vaping habits focus on teenagers, not young adults. These gaps in the research drove Olivia to learn more about and dig deeper into vaping, even when a pandemic prevented her from completing the more technical parts of her thesis. During her research, Olivia has developed many skills, from mammalian cell culturing to research ethics, all of which will ultimately benefit her in graduate school and beyond. 

Author's Note: 

 cannot express enough thanks to Dr. Heather Lehman for her unwavering support of me and my research for the past two years. Through countless failed cell cultures and a global pandemic, I would not be half of the biologist I am today without her guidance and mentoring.

There are no known conflicts of interest to disclose. Correspondence regarding this paper should be addressed to Olivia Medina at

Keywords: Vaping, College, Nicotine

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