What is Vaping?

For many teenagers and adults alike, ‘vaping’ has become a familiar term that is mentioned frequently in news, reports and advertisements alike. Along with the increasing trend of vaping among teenagers come the increasing awareness campaigns on the dangerous potential of this product, so what is vaping and is it dangerous?

Source: CBC

What does “Vaping” mean?

Vaping refers to the act of inhaling vapor created from an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping devices usually containing nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals. These chemicals are heated to become a vapour which is inhaled, hence the name “vaping” associated with using e-cigarettes.

What does “vaping” do?

The marketed message behind e-cigarettes is that these devices can act as smoking cessation tools-meaning that e-cigarettes are meant to help users quit smoking whilst offering a less harmful product in the progress. However, the products have not received the approval from the US Food and Drug Administration as smoking cessation devices while the Vietnamese Ministry of Health is increasingly pushing for a ban on these products.

Why are there backlashes against “vaping” and e-cigarettes?

According to many researchers, the most worrying effect of vaping is its addictiveness from the nicotine present within the chemicals in the e-cigarettes. In fact, many research have pointed out that this had made e-cigarettes users not only quit smoking, but instead ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes at the same time. Other studies also point out the harmful effect of e-cigarettes, including links to chronic lung disease, asthma, cardiovascular diseases along the fact that it is just as addictive as regular cigarettes, heroin and cocaine.

Therefore, it has been concluded by different sources that vaping along with e-cigarettes are not the best smoking cessation tool with its addictiveness along with the harmful effects that it can causes.

If vaping isn’t the product that it is marketed to be, then what is behind its popularity?

Despite not being a safe nor an effective tool for those who want to quit smoking, vaping and e-cigarettes continued to be more popular than ever. In 2015 alone, the US Surgeon general reported that the use of e-cigarettes among high school students in the country has increased by 900% and 40% of them have never smoked regular tobacco. Combined this with the statistic earlier linking the likelihood of smoking traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes, this increasing trend has shown signs of vaping being the gateway to smoking and not to end it.

“What I find most concerning about the rise of vaping is that people who would’ve never smoked otherwise, especially youth, are taking up the habit,” says Blaha-a researcher at Johns Hopkins-on the data. “It’s one thing if you convert from cigarette smoking to vaping. It’s quite another thing to start up nicotine use with vaping. And it often leads to using traditional tobacco products down the road.”


Source: The New York Times

Understanding the appeal of vaping and e-cigarettes among teenagers

To prevent a new generation of potential smoking addicts, we have to understand the motivation behind the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes among teenagers. Commonly, factors ranging from simple causes such as curiosity, boredom as well as a lack of awareness to peer pressure, addiction from nicotine to e-cigarettes becoming a trendy or a status symbol are all potential reasons for many to vape. To prevent a potential widespread wave of addiction, it is crucial for each of us to educate ourselves on the harmful effects of vaping while spreading awareness of this information as well as encouraging others to stop vaping. While all teenagers have a high incentive to “fit in” and follow the trend, the potential effect of vaping and e-cigarettes products can have a long-term effect on its users potentially lasting for a lifetime.

Sources:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping

https://www.wechu.org/substance-use-harm-reduction-vaping/why-do-youth-vape

https://vaping360.com/vape-news/107808/vietnam-plans-to-ban-sales-of-vaping-products/

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/e-cigarettes.html


Cover Photo Credit: The Conversation