Overview of Vaping
Vaping was originally created as a cessation tool. The problem with vaping is that most people that vape were never smokers and are typically teenagers. So, not only are e-cigarettes not the best tool for cessation, it is also raising teens that are hooked on nicotine. There are many health risks that are associated with vaping.
There are many reasons why people may decide to start vaping. There are four deciding factors that contribute to this. The first reason is price. Vaping usually costs around $50 to get started, but can be found as cheap at $7 in some cases. This means that price is relatively low, so this does not deter people. It is also widely socially acceptable, especially in young environments. The surgeon general claims that from 2011-2015, the number of high school students that vape went up nearly 900%. Most people do not understand the risks that are associated with vaping either. The last factor is availability. In most cases, it is very easy to purchase a vape, even for those that are underage.
Vaping Leads to Nicotine Addiction
Vaping leads to nicotine addiction because most of the companies will claim to be nicotine free, but will still put nicotine in their products. Their goal is to create lifelong customers. These products are not regulated by the FDA. When teenagers begin vaping they will likely try other tobacco products in the future. Also, nicotine can have long term effects on the developing brain. The true amount of nicotine that is taken in depends on how the e-cigarette is set up. Vapes are not quality controlled. This means that they can use any ingredients, put anything on the label, and can make it at any location. This means that vaping is completely unsanitary.
Vaping Contains Formaldehyde, Acetoin, Metals, Etc.
A vape is actually an aerosol and not a vapor at all. In many cases, the vape can overheat and decomposes many of the chemicals that are involved. For example, some of the chemicals are propylene glycol and glycerin, which are not too toxic. However, when these two chemicals are overheated in the vape, then they can turn into dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde. When these vapes are overheated, they can also introduce the lungs to harmful metals such as lead, nickel, tin, and aluminum.
Some other chemicals that are found in vapes are diacetyl, pentanedione, and acetoin. These are the same chemicals that are known to cause popcorn lung. Popcorn lung has no cure or treatment, so the symptoms associated with this are permanent. Some common symptoms are wheezing, shortness of breath, dry coughs, decreased lung volume, scar tissue, inflammation, and airway obstruction.
Explosions with Vapes
Explosions are also very common with vapes. In many cases, this occurs when the person is vaping, so the damage is done to the face and neck. In other cases, it can happen when it is charging or when the vape has been put into a pocket or bag and is bumped around frequently. Explosions are known to cause shattered teeth, severe burns, broken necks, burns, fractures, and skin grafts may also be necessary in some cases.
Vaping Leads to other Health Problems
People that vape are at a higher risk for contracting a sickness such as the flu, strep, or pneumonia. Once they are sick, they will be sick for a longer period of time. Mono is also known to travel quickly because people are more likely to share vapes.
If a younger child lives with people that vape, they are more susceptible to ingesting vape liquid. Vape liquid is very colorful, smells good, and is typically named after fruits or candy, and because of this, young people are more likely to reach for it.
Nicotine Addictions with Vapes
Addiction happens so fast in people that vape for a variety of reasons. One pod in an e-cigarette is the nicotine equivalent to a full pack of cigarettes. It is also likely because people that vape; typically will vape all day every day. They do not usually have to step outside.
Long Term Effects with Vapes
Long-term effects of vaping have still not yet been studied, as this is still a new item in the market. Since there are not any long term studies yet, there is no real answer if smoking is more dangerous yet.
Second hand smoke can still be found in vapes. Since vapes are not actually a vapor, but an aerosol, the harmful chemicals can be transmitted through the air. Second hand vapor can also contain nicotine, which means that the people around the one that is vaping may develop an addiction to nicotine as well. There is even a third-hand exposure, which means that the vapor can remain on surfaces and be transmitted through ingestion or through the skin.
Teenagers that vape are also 31% more likely to smoke cigarettes than teenagers that did not.
Vaping devices can also be used for marijuana or THC. A national survey of teens shows that nearly 6% of teens have claimed to vape marijuana. It is important, as a parent, to be aware that vaping THC does not produce the same smell as smoking marijuana. Vaping THC can also produce a higher concentration of THC. This means that users are likely gaining greater exposure and will become addicted faster.
Pulmonary Associates of Mobile is dedicated to educating teenagers, their parents, and their teachers about the dangers of vaping. We have presented nearly 300 times to schools and other venues in our area. If you are interested in this at your school or venue, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We have also created a new website (vapingisdangerous.com). This website is made to spread the truth about vaping.
If you are interested in quitting smoking, vaping is not the best alternative. We have many cessation tools that can be helpful. If you are a parent, and you believe that your teen is vaping or may be exposed to the peer pressure that is surrounding it, now is the time to talk to your teens. Be sure to continually educate yourself on what the new trends are and keep the lines of communication open with your teens.