Vaping was once considered a healthy alternative to tobacco, yet e-cigarettes actually contain harmful substances and contribute to unhealthy behaviors. This form of smoking is unfortunately increasing among young people, with e-cigs often referred to as “the next generation cigarette.”
The dangers of e-cigarettes are such that even the government is getting involved with the new campaign to prevent kids from vaping, StillBlowingSmoke.org. According to the campaign’s official website, e-cig vapor contains more particles than tobacco smoke, and causes as much short-term lung inflammation as traditional cigarettes. Nicotine-free vapor is believed to cause even further inflammation. This irritation easily results in asthma flare-ups–even limited exposure to e-cig vapor can cause eye and throat irritation, as well as dizziness and coughing spells.
Decreased immunity is yet another side effect of vaping. One study found e-cigarette use to increase susceptibility to pneumonia and flu in mice while other research discovered how difficult antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA bacteria are to destroy following e-cig particle exposure. Vaping particles also have ill effects on the heart, as they can cause arterial restriction and therefore, increase heart attack chances. As if all that wasn’t enough, exposure to formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is 15 times higher in e-juice than traditional cigarettes.
Pandering to Kids
E-cigarette companies claim they don’t cater to children and teens, however the candy flavors and matching packaging write a different story. Studies indicate flavoring is one of the main e-cig attractants in regards to young people, and with flavors such as “Butter Crunch” and “Vanilla Bean” from NJOY and “Cherry Crush” from industry leader Blu, it’s hard to argue otherwise. E-cigarettes are also frequently positioned next to candy displays and slushie machines in retail stores.
According to Still Blowing Smoke, as of 2014, children in 8th grade are twice as likely to try e-cigs as they are traditional cigarettes. Some 8.7% of 8th graders vape, with the number rising to 16.2% among 10th graders and 17.1% among 12th graders.
Another sad statistic involves e-cig poisoning. From 2012 to 2014, the poison control center in California saw a staggering 2,100% increase in e-cig-related poisonings in children under 5 years old.
Easy to Hide
While it’s easy to smell tobacco smoke on clothes, in hair, etc., it’s generally very difficult to tell if a person has been vaping. Educating children on the many dangers of vaping is therefore highly recommended.
Don’t let your children fall victim to e-cigarette advertising. Talk to them about vaping dangers, and allow them to ask questions. Emphasize how important protecting their health is to you, as well as how necessary it should be to them!