It is no secret that vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Vaping involves the use of devices such as an electronic cigarette, which replaces traditional cigarette sticks. An E-cigarette is filled with a liquid called e-juice or e-liquid, which gets heated and converted into vapor by the device.
An e-cigs is not only fashionable, but it is also housed in a compact form factor, which makes it easy for users to carry them everywhere they go or even hide it inside the pocket. The e-liquid that goes inside the electronic cigarette is flavored, making it seem more acceptable even to teenagers who aren’t attracted to smoking tobacco-based cigarettes.
Usually, e-liquid comprise different amounts of nicotine, as well as other substances such as unlabeled chemicals and flavors. Some even contain marijuana. An e-cig is a big hit among today’s generation, which explains the alarming upsurge in adolescence vaping. The trendy nature of the device, the pleasant flavors, ease of purchase and the idea that it is relatively safer than a traditional cigarette are some of the major reasons why e-cigarettes have garnered such huge popularity among teenagers.
Health Canada survey found that nearly one in every five students in grades 7-12 have had used an e-cigarette. There are no prizes for guessing, most of these students were under the wrong impression that vaping is safer than smoking. A few among them were aware that it contained nicotine and probably marijuana.
The worldwide population of vapers increased from 7 million in 2011 to a whopping 35 million in 2016. Much to the chagrin of those who initiated and successfully led a campaign against cigarette smoking for several years, e-cigarette use is demeaning by garnering huge popularity, particularly among teenagers.
Contrary to what some users still believe, vaping has been deemed dangerous by multiple researchers and health officials. Vaping is likely to kill the consumers, and possibly kill them faster than traditional cigarette smoking. In other words, refraining from using vape devices is a smart choice, especially since so many cases of vaping-linked illnesses have surfaced in the United States recently.
Several cases of vaping-linked illnesses and deaths have been reported in the last few months. According to a CDC’s mid-October report, vaping has claimed 26 lives, while making 1,300 vapers critically ill in the United States. This mysterious lung illness became a reportable illness in September this year in British Columbia.
By mid-October, the province confirmed at least one probable vaping-linked illness, while seven more were being investigated. Likewise, two and one severe vaping-related lung illness cases were reported in the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec, respectively. With chances of more cases of vaping-related illnesses surfacing soon, the belief that vaping is safe has been completely debunked.
The fact that specific chemicals that go into the e-juice used in an electronic cigarette are not revealed to the consumers is a big concern. In addition to the original chemicals that are in this liquid, a slew of new chemicals is formed when the device heats it.
Some of these newly formed chemicals include acrolein, formaldehyde, along with metal particles such as nickel, tin, and aluminum that are present in the vape. While many of the aforesaid chemicals are known for causing cancer, some of them are used in antifreeze.
Moreover, e-liquid is poisonous when touched, swallowed or even sniffed. Several cases of e-liquid poisoning have been reported, especially in children under the age of 5. Different -cigarette brands use a varying amount of nicotine in the vape products.
Juul, a popular brand, fills its pod with up to 5% nicotine, which is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes. It is worth mentioning here that nicotine is highly addictive, and can be poisonous if a large dose is swallowed.
Furthermore, nicotine increases blood pressure, as well as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). As if that weren’t enough, e-liquid is loaded with flavoring agents such as diacetyl. Long-time exposure to diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung). In other words, vapers are at risk of developing this life-threatening chronic lung disease.
Vaping is not by any stretch of the imaginations safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. Moreover, the long-term health damages it causes to the human body are also unknown. Vaping has killed nearly 26 people in just a few weeks, and it is worth noting that Health Canada does not encourage those trying to quit smoking to take up vaping as a cessation method.
Regrettably, vaping is quite popular among teens – the same age-group that is highly vulnerable to the negative effects of vaping. It also encourages them to start smoking. Research showed that nearly 30.7 percent of youngsters that vape took up cigarette smoking within six months.
The tobacco and Vaping Product Act restricts selling vaping products to consumers under the age of 18 years, the ease of purchase and dispense of e-cigarette encourage young men and women to vape. The teen years are an important time in the brain, as well as habit development.
A myriad of chemicals, along with nicotine found in the vaping product affect the development of brain functions that administer learning, cognition, attention and even addiction tendency. A teen vaper is highly likely to have poor impulse control, mood disorders, poor memory, learning and concentration abilities, drug-seeking habit, as well as a cognitive and behavioral problem.
It remains to be seen whether or not we can control the menace of vaping before the vaping epidemic gets out of control. Some states in the U.S. are planning to implement a ban on the sale of vaping products in their states. Numerous resources and educational campaigns on vaping are now available.
Health Canada initiated a vaping awareness program dubbed ‘Consider the Consequences of Vaping’ for children in high school. Parents, on the other hand, are advised to lead by example and refrain from using any sort of vaping product at home or outside. It is also imperative for them to talk to the children about the dangers of vaping.
Those at risk of vaping should get the advice of a health professional as soon as possible. Rember, just like smoking, vaping also kills.