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Vaping - What’s the Deal?

Be Cool – Don’t Be a Smoking Fool.

Apr 25, 2019

E-cigarettes come in many forms.  They can look like USB drives, pens, or other ordinary items.  Maybe you’ve heard names such as “e-cigs,” “Juuls,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” and “vapes” to describe them.  So why do kids think they’re cool?  Let’s look a little closer.

What is it?

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices used to inhale nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals in the form of an aerosol (tiny solid or liquid particles suspended in gas).  The aerosol is created when liquid is heated inside the e-cigarette.  The liquid, or “e-juice,” almost always contains highly-addictive nicotine, which comes from tobacco.  It also contains flavoring and other additives.

When you inhale e-juice vapor, you’re inhaling metals and chemicals that cause brain damage and disease.When you inhale e-juice vapor, you’re inhaling metals and chemicals that cause brain damage and disease.Courtesy of CDC.gov

How risky is it?

E-cigarettes first appeared on the market in 2006 as a better alternative for adult cigarette smokers.  Evidence so far has not shown that they effectively help smokers quit smoking conventional cigarettes.  In addition, evidence shows that teens and young adults who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become life-long tobacco users, and more likely to try harder drugs.  The younger you are, the more likely you’ll become addicted.

Still, vaping can seem like a less-risky choice than smoking cigarettes.  After all, how bad can inhaling cotton candy, iced berry, mango tango e-juice be?  Isn’t it just harmless water vapor?

When you inhale vapor from an e-cigarette, you’re inhaling much more than flavoring.  E-cigarettes usually have fewer toxicants than smoke from regular cigarettes, but using them carries many of same health risks, as well additional risks.  Here’s why:

  1. E-cigarettes damage your brain.  Your brain isn’t completely developed until you reach 25 years old, and nicotine damage in the teen brain affects attention and learning abilities.  This damage can also cause mood disorders and a permanent lowered ability to control your impulses.
  2. E-cigarettes prime your brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine, because of the nicotine in them.
  3. E-cigarettes damage your lungs.  A flavoring agent called Diacetyl can cause a deadly permanent lung disease called “popcorn lung” when inhaled. 
  4. E-cigarettes cause disease.  Their aerosol contains toxic compounds, cancer-causing agents and heavy metals like nickel, lead and tin. Microparticles released by the e-cigarette’s heating coils can put kids at risk for reactive airway disease, asthma and emphysema.  Overheated coils can release formaldehyde into the lungs.
  5. E-cigarettes are sometimes used to deliver illegal drugs such as marijuana.   
  6. E-cigarettes can catch fire or explode, causing injury or death, and drinking or injecting e-liquids can also cause death.  There are no rules about how e-juice is made, so there’s no way to be sure what’s in it.

These are only the risks that we currently know of.  We won’t know all of vaping’s long-term health risks until more studies are completed.

E-cigarette companies target teens to sell more of their product.E-cigarette companies target teens to sell more of their product.Courtesy of CDC.gov

Is Juuling safer?

Juuls are a brand of e-cigarettes.  They come in fun flavors and look like flash drives, but they carry the same risks as other vaping brands.  Kids often think Juuling is harmless and more socially acceptable than other forms of tobacco use, but one Juul “pod” has about as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.  Kids may begin Juuling because their friends do it, and then in a matter of days become nicotine addicts. 

Many teens believe vaping or Juuling is safer and more socially acceptable than smoking.Many teens believe vaping or Juuling is safer and more socially acceptable than smoking.Courtesy of DrugAbuse.gov

So again, why do kids consider vaping cool?

Because the companies who make the vapes do a great job of trying to fool kids into believing that. They target you with advertising where they can, usually online.  E-cigarette companies try to make adverting deals with online gaming streamers whose main audience is teens, and social media personalities glorify vaping on sites like YouTube and Twitch.

Here’s the reality: Vaping isn’t harmless.  Anything that causes life-long brain damage, lung damage, mental and physical disease and addiction isn’t cool.  

Don’t let them - or anyone else - fool you.

The dangers of teen vapingCourtesy of CDC.gov

The damaging long-term impacts on your health:

  • Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States and in the world.
  • Smoking is a well-known cause of heart disease, cancers, and stroke.
  • Smoking decreases life expectancy.
  • Nicotine has adverse effects on brain development which could have lasting effects on memory and attention.
  • About 30% of teen smokers will continue smoking and die early from a smoking-related disease.
  • Teen smokers are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety disorders and depression.

An Epidemic Is Spreading

Share Your Thoughts

Do you know kids who are vaping?  What’s your take on it? Comment below.