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Dangers of Teen Vaping
by TeenHelp February 12th 2022, 02:52 PM

Dangers of Teen Vaping

Teenagers are often in a hurry to grow up and tend to do things to make them look and feel older, and some teenagers do things they shouldn't feel like they belong. For decades, teens have stated that these were the reasons they started smoking cigarettes. Today, vaping has taken the place of smoking among teens as a supposedly safer alternative.

What is Vaping?

Vaping involves inhaling vapor created by an e-cigarette or a vape pen. Vaping devices contain cartridges filled with liquid that contains nicotine, flavoring, and chemicals. The fluid heats up and becomes a vapor that you can inhale, which is where the term “vaping” comes from.
Many teens who cannot afford e-cigarettes or vape pens purchase single-use e-cigarettes instead. These devices are already filled with liquid and don't need to be charged.

How Common Is Teen Vaping?

According to the FDA, teen vaping has become a serious problem in the United States over the last few years. In 2011, only a small percentage of teens used e-cigarettes, and by 2019, the number of teens who vape had increased significantly. By 2019, 28 percent of high school students and 11 percent of teens in middle school were vaping.

Fortunately, the number of teens who vape dropped to 20 percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle school students in 2020. But these numbers are still too high. Although vaping with e-cigarettes or vape pens is common in teens, the number of teens using disposable e-cigarettes has surged in 2020. The number of middle school students went from 3.0 percent in 2019 to 15.2 percent in 2020. In addition, 2.4 percent of high school students used disposable e-cigarettes in 2019, which jumped to 26.5 percent in 2020.

What are the Dangers of Teen Vaping?

According to the Surgeon General, e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other devices used to vape contain ingredients that can be harmful to your health. These include:
  • Nicotine.
  • Diacetyl, a flavoring added to vape juice, has been linked to severe lung disease.
  • Heavy metals, such as tin, nickel, and lead.
  • Volatile organic compounds.
Every time you take a hit on your vape pen or e-cigarette, these harmful additives can get into your lungs, which can cause long-term lung issues.

There are several other dangers of teen vaping as well, including:
  • Brain Risks: According to the CDC, vaping can affect your developing brain. The brain continues to develop until you turn 25, and vaping can affect the parts of the brain that control attention, mood, impulse control, and learning.
  • When you vape nicotine, it can affect the way synapses form, which can cause long-lasting and long-term effects on your developing brain, such as memory loss.
  • Addiction: Vaping now can result in substance use disorder in the future. You can become addicted to nicotine when you start vaping, making it challenging to quit. And a nicotine use disorder can prime your brain for other forms of a substance use disorder, like alcohol use disorder. In addition, it might trigger a dormant mental health disorder.
  • Regular Marijuana Use: An study made by Dr. Nicholas Chadia found a link between vaping and marijuana use. There are vaping devices on the market today that are designed for smoking marijuana, which makes the transition from vaping nicotine to vaping THC (the ingredient in marijuana that makes you feel high) liquid simple.
  • Lung Problems: When you start vaping, your lungs can become irritated. Over time, vaping can cause lung issues. Because vaping is relatively new, we are still studying the long-term effects. According to research performed by Johns Hopkins Medical, we know that vaping can cause a rare condition called popcorn lung, which damages the small airways in the lungs. The other conditions include vape-related lipoid pneumonia, primary spontaneous pneumothorax after vaping, also known as a collapsed lung. Cancer is a concern because of the chemicals in vaping products; however, because vaping is so new, researchers are still learning about its effects and whether or not it causes cancer.

Due to the bleak statistics of teen vaping, many states have put bans on flavored vape juice to make it more challenging to get the vaping products they need. Unfortunately, teen vaping is still a significant problem in the United States. Many teens believe that if they don't vape every day, they cannot get addicted. Sadly, this isn't true. How quickly someone falls into nicotine use disorder depends on the person. For some, it takes vaping every day to become addicted. But for others, vaping just a few times a week can result in nicotine addiction.
Because teen vaping can be so dangerous, it is best to avoid vaping if you haven't started, and quit today if you are already vaping.

Sources

FDA.gov - Get The Latest Facts On Teen Tobacco Use
Surgeongeneral.gov - Know the Risks Of E-Cigarettes & Young People
CDC.gov - Quick Facts On The Risks of E-Cigarettes For Kids, Teens and Young Adults
Cnn.com - Vaping Linked to Marijuana Use in Young People, Research Says
The Risks of Vaping | NIH News in Health
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