Teen Vaping Still a Threatening Issue


Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons license

Electronic cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco) to create an aerosol to inhale.

Even with the tobacco age being moved to 21 in Minnesota and the wave of awareness on social media about vaping in 2019, vaping is still dangerously common. 

Nicotine is a chemical, contained in both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, that is proven to be as addictive as heroin. E-cigarettes are known to be less harmful, but this is a misconception. 

E-cigarette use, or vaping, has not been around for long. This means the long-term effects are unknown. Millions of people, as young as middle-schoolers, are exposing themselves to chemicals that are not yet understood by researchers. 

photo via pixabay under the creative commons license
Some common vape products found in high schools.

E-cigarette users may purchase extra-strength juices that have high concentrations of nicotine. Also, some e-cigarettes allow users to increase the voltage to get a more powerful hit. This is more common with the traditional box mods.

New research suggests vaping can lead to chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease. It is a known fact that vaping raises your blood pressure. 

Although awareness about the dangers of vaping has been circling the news and many social media platforms for a couple of years now, the amount of people vaping stays high. 

Teen vaping rates have continued to rise sharply this year despite new laws and recognition of possible effects. 25% of 12th grade students say they have used nicotine products in the last month according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In the past few months, the amount of vaping related deaths has risen to over 60 in the US. The youngest death from vaping was reported as a 15 year old from Dallas, Texas. 

As of March 2020, there were 936 cases of poisoning from liquid nicotine. Nicotine poisoning can happen from ingestion or skin contact if the liquid leaks onto carpet, clothing, or directly onto the skin.

Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons license
The most well-known e-cigarette brand is Juul.

The Trump administration passed a law banning fruit, mint, and dessert flavored flavors in refillable devices.  It has a clear loophole though because you can still purchase those flavors in devices that are not refillable. Juul remains a leading brand, simply because you can refill the pods yourself instead of purchasing new ones.

However, disposable vape brands such as Blow Vape Stix are starting to take over the industry. This is because they can get away with any flavors that attract adults and especially teens. They are allowed to sell any flavor because their devices are not refillable. 

The fight against vaping is not over, and it is becoming obvious that it will take more than spreading awareness to get people to quit. Research points to this generation of young e-cigarette users will likely lead to traditional tobacco products down the road. 

Feature image credit of woman vaping on electronic cigarette: image from Flickr