Although in prior generations cigarette smoking was prevalent among teens, it seems that it is evolving into a new form of consuming a tobacco like substance.
Vaping is the new trend among teens. Although Vaping originally began as a less harmful method for smokers to ween themselves away from cigarettes and smoking all together it has become an epidemic among the younger crowd. E-cigarettes come in many different forms ranging from cigarette style devises to hand held boxes called “mods”. Although they do not cause combustion of any substance and do not directly contain tobacco, they work through other means.
Vaporizers use a high powered battery to heat up what is essentially vegetable oil (Vegetable Glycerin) until it creates a gas that is inhaled by the user. The oil or “juice” as it is referred to by users, contains flavoring and in most cases nicotine. These flavors can be food based, tobacco type, or imitate candy flavors which is how the industry is making them to appeal to the younger crowd. Just like the tobacco industry did with flavored cigars and cloves cigarettes. These products have been developed to hopefully see a decline in tobacco use, but instead what we have seen is more and more teens have begun to vape, who would have never smoked in the first place. As well as smokers who continue to consume tobacco products while vaping. These e-cigs have not made a dent in conventional cigarette use according to a study by the University of Southern California, but the nicotine rate is on the rise. Through smoking, vaping, and smokeless tobacco products the nicotine use rate has gone up. Instead of having replaced smokers with vapers, a whole new culture has been created including “cloud chasing” competitions, vaping expo’s, and the recent combination of vape/coffee shops which are exempt from the indoor smoking policies in most areas. This is largely a “trend” as many teens see it as harmless and cool. The issue is that if a teen gets hooked on vaping they are at greater risk of becoming cigarette smokers.
Vaping is not risk free. Any foreign matter introduced into the bodies airways can cause irritation. Nicotine an ingredient in most of these juices, is a toxin to the body and disrupts the way the brain functions through neurotransmitters transmission especially in the still developing brain of those under 25. These liquids can contain powerful solvents, formaldehyde, and other controversial ingredients that pose potential health risks. The biggest issue is that this industry is not regulated. Besides the typical laws in the United States about purchasing these products at a certain age, there is no quality control or FDA testing done on these products. Many originating from China with little participation by the United States which causes a large concern about lead and heavy metal contamination.
Peachman, Rachel R. “More Nonsmoking Teens Inhaling Flavored Nicotine Through Vaping.” Well More Nonsmoking Teens Inhaling Flavored Nicotine Through Vaping Comments. New York TImes, 11 July 2016. Web. 18 July 2016.
tags: smoking, vaping, ecigs, cigarettes, tobacco, pneumonia, high blood pressure. lung cancer, cancer, ejuice