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HealthLife

5 Things You Need to Know About Vaping

vaping

Almost everyone knows that vaping is not a good thing. Although vaping products can only be sold to people over the age of 21, it has become one of the most popular forms of substance abuse among teenagers and young adults. Between the wide variety of appealing flavors, aggressive marketing, and sleek, easy-to-hide devices, vaping is extremely popular among the youth in America today.

The Average Cost of Vaping Per Year is $1,250.

That being said, there are many myths out there about vaping, and many of these myths can be damaging to one’s health. FOCUS and the Addiction Prevention Coalition partner to educate youth on the dangers of vaping and to eradicate myths surrounding vaping and other substances of abuse. According to APC, if you are using e-cigarettes yourself, or know someone who is, here are 5 things you may not know about vaping.

1. Young People Who Vape are More Likely to Perceive Cigarettes as Safe

Most people view vaping as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking. The truth is that smoking any type of substance is dangerous, and there are more harmful chemicals in vaping than just nicotine. However, even though many cigarette smokers turn to e-cigarettes in order to quit smoking cigarettes, vaping does not necessarily prevent people from smoking cigarettes later in life. Young people, who start using e-cigarettes before traditional cigarettes, are more likely to ignore the dangers associated with nicotine, cigarettes, smoking, and drug use in general. They may even be more likely to use traditional tobacco products later in life than teens who never start vaping in the first place.

2. E-cigarette Use is Linked to Illegal Drug Use and Mental Health Problems

Using nicotine in any form during adolescence may increase the risk of future drug use and mental health conditions. This is because nicotine directly affects the areas of the brain that are responsible for learning, mood, and impulse control. Since teen brains are still developing, nicotine abuse can have devastating effects on these processes, increasing the likelihood of additional problems later in life.

3. Vaping is Addictive Even if the Juice is Nicotine-Free

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances. However, there are some vape juices out there that offer a flavor-only, nicotine-free option. Many people believe that they cannot get addicted to vaping if they are not vaping an addictive substance, so they believe the myth that nicotine-free vaping is safe and non-addictive.

The truth is that vaping can be more than a substance addiction—it can also be a behavioral addiction. Similar to compulsive nail-biting, gambling addiction, or sex addiction, vaping addiction does not have to involve an addictive substance at all. Some people find the action of putting a vaping device up to their lips and blowing out smoke to be addictive. Others get attached to holding such devices in their hands to deal with nerves or anxiety. Whatever the case may be, people can get addicted to vaping even if the juice they are using is nicotine-free.

While they will not experience the withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine addiction, people, who are addicted to vaping flavor-only juices, may constantly think about vaping or be depressed and unable to concentrate if they try to stop vaping.

4. 90% of Vape Juices Contain Diacetyl—a Dangerous Chemical

One study conducted by Harvard found that over 90% of e-cigarettes and vape juices with flavoring contain diacetyl. Diacetyl is a flavoring agent that is used in many foods that are safe to eat, like popcorn, baked goods, and candies. It can create a wide variety of flavors and is considered safe when consumed in foods. However, there is evidence suggesting that diacetyl is dangerous when inhaled.

5. Vaping Can Be More Addictive than Cigarette Smoking

E-cigarettes, like the Juul, were aggressively marketed as a way for people to quit smoking. Attempting to quit smoking is hard to do and while e-cigarettes do not produce the 7,000+ chemicals and carcinogens that cigarettes do, vaping is still dangerous—and it can even be more addictive than cigarette smoking.

1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/common-e-cigarette-chemical-flavorings-may-impair-lung-function/

2. https://www.aces.edu/blog/topics/health/the-cost-of-vaping

Co-Founder | FOCUS

Sue Jones, M.Ed., graduated from the University of North Alabama and Jacksonville State University. She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of FOCUS. Sue has worked with schools in all 67 counties implementing and promoting FOCUS. Contact her at sjones@thefocusprogram.com and visit www.thefocusprogram.com for more information on FOCUS.

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