While electronic cigarettes originally entered the market as a promising tool to help people quit tobacco, new evidence keeps emerging that it has become a problem in and of itself. As of 2018, the CDC reported that more than 20% of high school students use electronic cigarettes. (1)
The trend has also become popular with adults, with one in 20 adults in the United States now using e-cigarettes. (2) But are e-cigarettes actually safe?
Here we take a look at what the latest studies are saying about the trend.
What are e-cigarettes?
The inhaled aerosol, commonly referred to as “vape”, typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and the potential for other chemicals.
While many brands of electronic vaporizers exist, as of 2018 the brand JUUL claimed 72% of the electronic cigarette market share, making it the most popular brand of e-cigg. (3)
What are the top health risks involved with vaping?
1) Numerous ill effects on the lungs
The early studies on what vaping does to the lungs are in, and none of it is good. Vaping has been shown to cause toxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammatory response in the human airways and lungs.
The inflammatory response that vaping induces has been shown to cause discomfort, damage to cells, and increased mucous production. (4)
2) Metals found in vape
Numerous containments have been found in vape smoke, all of which have the potential to cause serious health issues.
Metals and other containments found diacetyl (known to cause lung disease), benzene, nickel, tin, and lead. (5)
3) Dual use of tobacco products
While electronic cigarettes likely are not as bad for you as cigarettes, the reality is tobacco use more often than not continues to occur in those who vape. Dual use of tobacco products while vaping was reported in 58.8% of adults in 2015. (6)
4) Drug use
The statistic of approximately 20% of high schoolers vaping becomes all the more scary when considering that electronic cigarette devices are becoming popular tools for using drugs.
Drugs such as marijuana, flakka, bath salts, amphetamines, and opioids all have been abused with vaping devices. (7)
Nicotine effects on brain
The brain of adolescents and young adults is very much still developing, and thus susceptible to damage from harmful chemicals such as nicotine. Nicotine use has been shown to affect the development part of the brain responsible for behavior and impulse control.
This puts adolescents and young adults at a much higher risk for long-term issues with mood disorders, impulse control, and of course nicotine addiction. (8)
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.
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