E-cigarettes hit the market in the early 2000s and have since soared in popularity, especially among teens and young adults. Once believed to be a “safer” way to smoke, vaping is now considered a public health crisis by many health groups.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices used for a type of smoking called vaping. They produce a vapor that’s inhaled deep into the lungs, mimicking the feeling of smoking tobacco cigarettes.
Like traditional cigarettes, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. The exact amount varies by brand. Some have as much or more than traditional cigarettes.
They may also have added flavors and contain a variety of other chemicals.
E-cigarettes use batteries or electricity to heat a liquid until it turns into a mist. The mist may contain:
- chemical flavorings
- microscopic particles
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- heavy metals, such as lead, tin, and nickel
E-cigarettes can look like regular cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. They may also resemble sleek electronic devices, making them appealing to younger users.
In addition to nicotine, e-cigarettes can also be used to inhale other drugs, such as cannabis.
E-cigarettes are still relatively new, so their long-term effects are unknown. They may, however, pose multiple risks.
In general, e-cigarettes are not safe for young people or people who are pregnant. Vaping is no safer for developing fetuses than smoking traditional cigarettes.
The risks of using e-cigarettes include:
Nicotine is highly addictive, and most e-cigarettes include it as a main ingredient.
Some e-cigarette labels have claimed that the product had no nicotine when, in fact, it was in the vapor. For this reason, it’s important to use only trusted brands if you vape.
Originally, it was thought that vaping might be helpful for people trying to quit smoking. However, this early theory has not been proven.
Some people who vape also continue to smoke regular cigarettes despite a strong desire to quit.
E-cigarettes contain added flavors and preservatives. Some of these additives have health risks, such as diacetyl, which has a buttery taste. Diacetyl has been found to cause a severe lung disease similar to bronchiolitis.
Cinnamaldehyde, which tastes like cinnamon, is another popular vaping flavor that may be harmful to lung tissue.
E-cigarettes contain many of the same cancer-causing chemicals that regular cigarettes do.
E-cigarettes have been known to explode spontaneously. This has caused injury. Vape explosions have been linked to faulty batteries in vaping devices.
While rare, vape explosions can be very dangerous and can cause severe injury.
The majority of e-cigarette users are young. Their brains are still developing and forming the structure and connections necessary for the mature behavior of adulthood.
During this time, the teen brain is developing in ways that lead to the ability to make decisions, understand consequences, and accept delayed rewards.
Young people who vape may be more likely to become addicted than adults.
E-cigarettes contain many of the same toxins as regular cigarettes, but they may have smaller amounts. Some brands also have much less nicotine than regular cigarettes or no nicotine at all.
This makes them a better choice for people who already smoke or use other tobacco products. Vaping may have some benefits for smokers who switch to it as a complete substitute for using other tobacco products.
One of the reasons why the e-cigarette epidemic among young people is so troubling is that e-cigarette use seems to lead to the use of traditional cigarettes. Tobacco and nicotine addiction are well-documented health hazards.
Vaping can cause eye, throat, and nose irritation, as well as irritation in the respiratory tract. The nicotine in e-cigarettes can cause dizziness and nausea, especially in new users.
Drinking vaping liquid can cause nicotine poisoning.
Single-use, disposable e-cigarettes cost anywhere from $1 to $15 each or more. Rechargeable starter kits with multiple pods can cost anywhere from $25 to $150 or more.
You can also buy liquid refills for kits at around $50 to $75 monthly.
Vaping has become an epidemic among young people in the United States. E-cigarettes usually contain nicotine and are addictive. They also contain toxins that can damage your lungs and overall health.
E-cigarettes have been strongly linked to continued tobacco use and are not recommended for young people.