The Dangers of Vaping
A vape is a device that heats liquid into vapor for inhalation, or “vaping.” The liquid contains nicotine, the addictive chemical found in cigarettes. It also contains flavorings and other chemicals. People can buy vaping devices from many different places, including online and at local vape shops. Many brands advertise themselves as being safe or helping smokers quit traditional cigarettes.
Nicotine can change the way your brain works, making it hard to think and concentrate. It can also cause long-term changes to your lungs and heart. Some types of e-liquid can contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Nicotine can harm the developing brain of teenagers, and it can lead to other illicit substance use.
Many teens are using vapes to get high from marijuana or other substances, such as e-liquid that has been flavored with THC. These products are often sold in small, discreet pods that look like flash drives and can be easily hidden from teachers or parents. This is a serious public health concern because the ingredients in these products are unknown and may be harmful to teens’ brains and bodies.
There are also concerns about the potential for e-cigarettes to be used as an introduction to tobacco smoking. Research shows that teens who try a vape device are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes later in life.
Despite the popularity of vaping, most teens don’t realize that the liquid in their device contains nicotine. They are also unaware of the potential dangers of vaping devices, such as the possibility that they can be refilled with a variety of flavored chemicals that are not regulated. They are also under the false impression that vaping is not as harmful as smoking, and they think that it is safer because it leaves no odor.
Some researchers are concerned about the exploding vaping trend among teens, especially because it is so widespread. The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health reports that without urgent regulation, a generation could end up with addictions and lung damage.
Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds of inhalation and can change how you think, feel and learn. It can also cause long-term changes in your lungs and increase your risk for heart disease. It can also make it harder to quit smoking cigarettes.
Vaping can cause a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or popcorn lung. This is a scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe and can be fatal. The flavoring chemical diacetyl is found in some e-liquids and can also cause this damage.
If you know someone who is using vapes, talk with them about how to quit. Ask for help from a friend, family member or healthcare provider. Make a plan to quit, and pick a date that is not too far away. Consider joining a support group to help you stick to your plan. Chewing sugar-free gum or lollipops can help distract you from cravings.