We all know that smoking is an unhealthy habit that can have deadly consequences. but with the rise of vaping, you’d be forgiven for assuming that using e-cigarettes are better for your health. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, over 20% of high school students use e-cigarettes, with vaping more popular in youths than adults. The use of e-cigarettes in high school students increased 78% between 2017 and 2018.
What is Vaping?
Vaping involves using an e-cigarette – an electronic smoking device which contains a liquid filled cartridge. This cartridge normally contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.
The liquid in the cartridge is heated and inhaled as vapor, which is why using e-cigarettes is commonly known as vaping.
Research has demonstrated that the flavoring used in e-cigarettes, such as candy flavors, is a significant popularity factor. Additionally, the introduction of discreet devices which have a USB type appearance may also have contributed to the rise in vaping among teens.
The Dangers of Vaping
Vaping is not safer than traditional smoking. The dangers of vaping include:
- The inhalation of potentially harmful ingredients and toxins, including heavy metals and diacetyl – a flavoring chemical associated with lung disease. Additional compounds may include benzene, found in car exhausts.
- Exposure to nicotine which can result in nicotine addiction. Nicotine can harm the development of the brain when used at a young age, potentially resulting in mood disorders and lower impulse control.
- According to the surgeon general, some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use is linked to alcohol use and other substance use, such as marijuana, making it a gateway drug.
- Higher risk of injury due to defective batteries in e-cigarettes, which may result in fire or explosions.
Overall, smoking is harmful no matter how it is delivered. Vaping poses many health risks to teens because the brain is still developing until the age of 25. It’s important to talk to your children and teens about the dangers of vaping and to discuss the risk of nicotine addiction.