By Hadia Chaudhry
A vape, or an e-cigarette, is a small battery-powered device that heats a liquid containing varying amounts of nicotine. Vaping devices emit a sweet scented smoke that can smell like anything from baked goods to coffee. However, as pleasant as it seems, it is not worth the addiction that comes with it.
E-cigarettes were first developed in 1927, but quickly gained popularity in the 1960s as a substitute to smoking cigarettes. They were advertised as “smokeless non-tobacco cigarettes,” a prospect which appealed to smokers and non-smokers alike, leading to an increase in vaping. E-cigarettes allowed smokers to slowly decrease their nicotine intake, eventually resulting in a nicotine-free smoke.
E-cigarettes are no longer used for their original purpose, which is to wean smokers off nicotine. Instead, they are used recreationally. The use of e-cigarettes among young adults and teens has grown because it often seems like a safer alternative to cigarettes. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, in 2018 an estimated 2 million teens vape every month.
Flavored vaporizer liquids, or vape juice as it is called by users, make vaping more alluring than smoking cigarettes. Flavors such as bubblegum, cotton candy, blue raspberry, coffee, and peppermint market e-cigarettes to younger consumers.
YouTuber Steven Suptic of Sugar Pine 7 stated in a video that he began vaping “ironically,” but became addicted to it after consecutive usage.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Dartmouth University found that teens who vape were more likely to begin smoking tobacco than those who had never used e-cigarettes. In their study, it was found that 11 out of the 16 participants who vape ended up smoking tobacco after one year.
According to Dr. Brent Fuller of Beaumont Health, vaping also leads to a condition called “popcorn lung”, which is caused by the presence of a chemical known as diacetyl in vaporizer liquid. This chemical reduces one’s lung capacity, which is not ideal, especially for athletes.
The effects of vaping are not limited solely to physical health. According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, the effects of nicotine addiction are also harmful to one’s mental health, as it has mood altering effects on the brain. Mayo Clinic states that reducing nicotine in the body gradually will significantly improve a person’s mental health. A better option would be to not use e-cigarettes in the first place.
Vaping temporarily provides a sensation of pleasure, but short term effects are not worth the harmful long terms effects. Feelings of pleasure and stress relief can be found through more body-friendly ways. Exercise is an efficient way of relieving stress and provides a feeling of euphoria due to the adrenaline that is pumped through the body.
Care for the body before deciding to use e-cigarettes.