Vaping is when someone inhales the aerosol from a vaporizer. Vaping is also called smoking or “vaping nicotine” when it’s done for nicotine inhalation. In rare cases, vapes can explode and cause burns or fires that threaten people nearby. For youth, vaping may seem like an excellent way to get away from cigarettes and other forms of tobacco and alcohol, but this is not the case all time.
Vaping among teenagers is a common thing now. Many people are already vaping daily, some even several times per day. While this happens worldwide, there are certain countries that have more vapers than others. One of these countries is Japan. People vape for many different reasons, but most try it out because they think it’s cool or wants to quit smoking cigarettes. Others start vaping because their friends talked them into trying it out and having a puff on an e-cigarette.
What are the consequences? There are two sides to every story. This also counts for vaping among teenagers. Many authorities claim that vaping among young people leads to smoking regular cigarettes at one point in time due to “addiction” or nicotine poisoning. However, the other side states that vaping is a 100% safe and healthy alternative to smoking cigarettes. To understand this better, we’ll look at the numbers of both sides and decide for ourselves if teenagers should drop e-cigarettes or continue with them as an alternative.
The Survey A study was conducted by “CASAA – Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association” on 200 vapers who all had experience with vaping under 18 years of age. The majority of their answers stated that they started vaping because they wanted to quit smoking regular cigarettes, followed by vaping being cool and having friends who vape. 40% indicated that they didn’t smoke traditional cigarettes anymore since they started vaping regularly or daily.
Vaping is more of an alternative way of smoking rather than quitting. While some may think it is less harmful than traditional cigarettes, the truth of the matter is vaping can be just as bad or even worse for your health because there are hundreds of types of now, but what exactly is vaping? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “e-cigarettes are small battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine (though not always), flavorings, and other chemicals.
Pros of Vaping:
The most significant advantage of vaping among teenagers is that it can help them be less susceptible to the harms of cigarettes, especially when they are young. There are still many changes in the brain that happen during adolescence, and it has been shown that nicotine exposure during adolescence can have a compounding effect on addiction rates.
Additionally, vaping is thought to be healthier because the aerosol it produces will contain fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke. The aerosol, or vapor, is produced by heating a liquid until it becomes an aerosol.
However, in recent years vaping has become more popular and widespread among teenagers than smoking cigarettes for the first time. This change in attitude can lead to an increased interest in using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices to consume drugs like marijuana without actually smoking.
Cons of Vaping:
Vaping is attracting a lot of attention from people who want to quit smoking cigarettes. However, it may be worth noting that vaping may have some drawbacks compared to leaving outright.
One study found that e-cigarettes, while effective in helping smokers quit, may increase the risk of relapse. Another study published in Preventive Medicine reported that vaping is increasing among teenagers.
For research purposes, scientists divided participants into two groups: one group who had never smoked cigarettes before and another who had not vaped before. They discovered the first group was more likely to try vaping than its control counterparts. The same trend occurred among those already cigarette smokers; they’re more likely to vape than nonsmokers.
Although it has been pointed out that teens are trying cigalikes with flavors like bubblegum and candy, there’s no concrete evidence these cigalike products are responsible for teens trying or becoming regular vapers. But this is also one of the study findings: teens who try vaping do not stay committed. They go back to nonsmoking or smoking cigarettes because they feel cigalikes do not satisfy them enough and eventually turn to cigarettes because they want a more robust product.
The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). This particular report was led by researchers from Truth Initiative, a non-profit organization that tackles tobacco use among young people, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
“Our results suggest that some misperceptions about nicotine levels may exist among youth e-cigarette users,” says lead author Jessica L. Barrington-Trimis. As she further explains, “The majority of youth and young adults in our study who were vaping nicotine had been smoking cigarettes first, and many of these individuals reported that they vaped because it helped them quit or cut down on cigarette use. Providing accurate information about the relative strength of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes compared with cigarettes may help discourage dual use among these at-risk populations.”
Vaping And Teenage Smoking Rates
One thing that triggered alarm bells regarding vaping is its rising popularity among middle school and high school students. While this addictive behavior is not limited to kids only, teens are more susceptible when it comes to picking up habits. After all, their brains and bodies aren’t mature enough to assess risk fully or practice impulse control. This is why many in the medical and research community were alarmed by this trend. With this, the market of vape pod manufacturers is continuously increasing and expanding globally.
But according to Barrington-Trimis and colleagues, vaping may not be as much of a gateway drug as initially believed. Instead, it will likely remain a viable alternative for smokers who want to quit their tobacco habit.
Just recently, another study published in BMJ found that e-cigarettes are just as effective as nicotine patches when it comes to helping people kick the habit. Evidence from both studies could change current public perceptions about vaping and vaping products such as e-liquids with nicotine concentrations of 12mg/ml or lower.