Vaping: Not as Harmless as it Might Seem

As the vaping trend continues, new studies are beginning to expose the true dangers involved.

The epidemic of tobacco use among minors is coming to a close, but in the past few years, traditional cigarettes have been quickly replaced with e-cigarettes. This vaping trend is so fresh that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other organizations have not had much time to learn about the dangers involved. The studies completed so far have shown that e-cigarettes’ claim of being a healthier alternative to cigarettes may not be true.

According to the CDC, the number of minors who vape shot up 1.5 million from 2017 to 2018. Lenient store policies and under-prepared lawmakers have allowed vapes to become easily accessible by minors throughout the country. 

JUUL, along with other e-cigarette companies, initially marketed their product as a way for current smokers to end their reliance on traditional tobacco products. However, the flavored JUUL pods and concealable design resulted in teenagers who had never before smoked cigarettes to become hooked on vaping. 

Nicotine is especially harmful to young people,” said an article on the CDC website. “The human brain keeps developing until around the age of 25. Using products with nicotine under age 25 can harm the part of the brain responsible for memory, attention, and learning.”

The website goes on to say that each JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes.

Nicotine isn’t the only harmful chemical in e-cigarettes, however. According to Medical News Today, exposure to vapor from e-cigarettes causes DNA damage in mice, which could result in higher risks of cancer and other long-term problems in the future. While no humans were tested, this study could be indicative of future similar damage in humans who vape.

However, the true long-term effects of vaping are practically unknown due to how short of a time-span vapes have been available. The harmful effects of vaping likely won’t be known for at least a few decades. 

At the end of the day, whether or not to use e-cigarettes is up to the individual. But, given how much about them is unknown, the consequences could be devastating.