Vaping has risen in popularity these past recent years, but not among the people it was intended for. Vaping was created as an alternative and safer method for adults to quit smoking, however, teenagers who’ve never picked up a cigarette are now vaping in record numbers.
According to a recent 2018 Vital Signs report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.9 million high school and middle school students used tobacco in the last 30 days, an increase from 3.6 million in 2017. E-cigarettes were the most popular tobacco product among children and adolescents.
The report follows a late 2018 National Institutes of Health survey, which tracked substance use among American adolescents. It found the number of high school seniors who say they vaped nicotine in the past 30 days doubled since 2017, from 11 percent to nearly 21 percent. That was the largest increase ever recorded in any substance in the survey’s 43-year history. So, with all of this in mind, why are vaping products widely used in this generation?
They’re Sleek and Discreet
In order to understand the surge in vaping among teens, it is best to be familiar with brands like Juul, the vaping device that looks similar to a USB drive. With its all-black design, this vaping device is sleek and does not seem as if it could be dangerous like cigarettes are. However, many of the pods that come in Juul devices contain about the same level of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes does, or even more.
Many teens have mentioned that they vape because it’s discreet and there is no harsh smell to vaping as there is with smoking cigarettes, which makes these devices even more dangerous. Vaping is not the same as smoking, however, it still has similar effects because of the use of nicotine inside the product. Many teens use these devices on a day-to-day basis and are getting away with it because there is no smell to vaping, however, they are still consuming many dangerous chemicals.
For the most part, another reason for the rise in vaping products is because many teens are actually becoming addicted to them and rely on them. It is a known fact that these products contain nicotine, a very addictive substance that is also found in cigarettes. The reason these are in vaping products draws back to them being designed for users who want to quit smoking, it was a start for users who rely heavily on nicotine in cigarettes.
The primary reason for concern for nicotine is because again, it is a highly addictive substance, and can cause immediate harmful side effects in young people’s developing brains and bodies. Additionally, there’s some evidence that nicotine exposure may prime the developing brain to become more sensitive to substance use disorders later. Trying to quit nicotine can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, including nervousness, restlessness, anxiety, sleepiness, and fatigue.
Again, with this in mind, it’s clear that vaping devices do not provide any benefits to users, they are harmful and allow people to become addicted to substances. Research has found numerous negative impacts of nicotine alone: on metabolism, increased cancer risks and respiratory problems, as well as more asthma attacks and symptoms experienced by those who vape.
They’re Targeted Towards Kids
Many claim that vaping has grown in popularity among teens because of the many e-liquids and juices that come with vaping devices. Take Juul, for instance. The device has available flavor pods like mint, mango, crème, cucumber, fruit, and many more. These flavors can be seen as very appealing to the young minds of teens and can lead them to become addicted and wanting more. Other vaping devices like the Suorin are popular among teens because of the many more options of juice flavoring that they have.
Overall, vaping devices have many elements that lead teens and adolescents to partake in the activity and implement this bad habit into their daily lives. It is important to be aware of the effects of vaping products and also be aware of what is inside the products as well. Not much research has gone into vaping devices, and when more news comes out of the dangerous impacts these products have, it is best to not rely on them.