According to a recent article by the CBS Boston, more than 2 million middle and high school students were using e-cigarettes in 2017, and that number only seems to have escalated. Some are even referring to the popularity of vaping among young people as an "epidemic."
One of the major problems is that teens don't recognize the dangers of e-cigarettes. They know they're a less harmful alternative to smoking real cigarettes, so they write off the health concerns that hide behind the flavorful smoke.
However, what e-cig users should know is that:
1. Although you're ingesting less nicotine than you would by smoking a regular cigarette, you're still putting poison in your body. Nicotine has been proven to have negative effects on reproductive health, as well as the still-developing brains of young people. Plus, it can contribute to respiratory problems and aggravate heart conditions.
2. Nicotine isn't the only ingredient in an e-cig. The products also contain Propylene glycol and glycerin, which can irritate your eyes and airways. They're also both labeled as carcinogens, meaning they could potentially contribute to the development of cancer, although not enough research has been conducted to prove this theory.
3. Vaping still produces secondhand smoke. Many like to argue that e-cigs are better than cigarettes because they don't expose others to the negative effects, but in reality, a study has found that vaping still negatively impacts indoor air quality.
4. You will start to experience withdrawals. Just because vaping isn't as dangerous as smoking cigarettes doesn't mean you'll escape with no addictive symptoms. Most people experience high blood pressure, spikes in their adrenaline, and of course, withdrawal symptoms when they go too long without a hit.
5. Vaping e-cigarettes significantly increases your chance of smoking real cigarettes later on. Because e-cigs contain nicotine, and it's an addictive substance, research has revealed that people who start to vape are more likely to pick up traditional cigarettes or other nicotine products later.
Have you talked to your teens about vaping? If so, how?