Vaping or the use of e-cigarettes has become very common, especially amongst teenagers. And while the popularity continues to grow, so does the overwhelming amount of evidence leading to the dangers of these electronic devices. Research backed by the United States Surgeon General and even the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that vaping may even be more dangerous and damaging than smoking regular cigarettes (Northwestern Medicine Behavioral Health, n.d.)!
The danger of e-cigarettes has more to do with what’s inside of them and how much of that is entering the body when inhaled. E-cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals that are known carcinogens and even diethylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. When these harmful chemicals are inhaled, they increase blood pressure and heart rate and narrow arteries by constricting the arterial wall which can lead to fatal heart attacks (Northwestern Medicine Behavioral Health, n.d.). The list of dangers that come from inhaling these chemicals are endless!
“So…if vaping is so dangerous, why is it so popular?”
Many teens still have the misconception that vaping is really harmless. It also doesn’t help that the vape pods that contain contain the liquid to be turned into vapor come in so many different flavors. This appeals to the younger generation. Even the appearance of these devices are made to intrigue and entice the eye. They are small and easy to hide, making them difficult to detect. This enables the use in school bathrooms and classrooms. With all these factors and the level of nicotine that is within these vapes, it is not a surprise that teens are enticed to try them and quickly develop an addiction to the devices only to realize it after the damage has already been done.
It is important to raise awareness about the dangers of vaping among the youth to prevent more teens from vaping and becoming addicted. We encourage our parents/guardians, teachers, mentors, coaches, and all other adults that have children in their lives to talk and teach our youth about the harms of vaping and any form of tobacco use. Provide them with a safe place for them to express themselves, ask questions, and seek help/resources if needed.
If your child or a child you know is unable to stop vaping, please contact the child’s health care provider, school counselor, or other trusted professional to discuss ways to help them quit. You can also check out some of these resources below:
Text “QUIT” to (202) 804-9884
Text “DITCHJUUL” to 887-09
Georgia Tobacco Quitline (GTQL): 1-877-270-STOP (877-270-7867)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
The National Cancer Institute Quitline: 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848)