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Up in smoke: a look into e-cigarettes

Vaping is something everyone has heard of in recent years. There is a lot of concern about its popularity considering that vaping and its effects are not well understood yet.

Vaping among teens has gained attention recently because it has become so widespread and the risks for teens are now understood at this point.

Electronic cigarettes were introduced and marketed as an aid to help smokers quit smoking or offer a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. These goals have worked for some and that is incredible, but most vaping products are not harmless. There have been instances of the pens exploding and causing serious injury. There is also a lot of concern about the ingredients that are in the juices and what the long term effects may be.

Studies done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently have shown that the ingredients in vape juices can include “cancer-causing chemicals” and “flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease.” These substances are not the harmless water vapor that some people think they are. Lung cancer is the biggest killer in the United States of both men and women.

Vape juice is not the tar and rat poison found in cigarettes, but it is still a very real threat that should be treated with caution.

More research needs to be done in finding out how to actually make vape juices that include no cancer-causing agents and are safe for long term consumption. This research then needs to be enforced by laws that regulate the production of these products to their safest possible standard.
The government should take action to try to protect the population from the newest smoking trend because at some point in history cigarettes were thought to be safe as well.

Vaping flavorings have come under fire recently as well because some think that the wide variety of flavors may encourage adolescents to try it.

Vaping among teenagers has become common-place. The CDC reports in 2018, “more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 4.9% of middle school students and 20.8% of high school students.”

Every teenager that goes to school has most likely seen at least one peer using a vaping device already. The vapor does not always leave a strong smell and disappears relatively quickly so that teachers and parents can not always catch kids in the act.

Vaping poses a distinct risk to teenagers because like cigarettes, vapes include nicotine. Nicotine affects the development of the brain in adolescents and can affect “parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.”

These four things are crucial to healthy development as an adult. The CDC also states that children who become addicted to nicotine are more likely to become addicted to other drugs, not just cigarettes. This presents vaping as a gateway product and it is true, but not every person that starts vaping is going to go into hard drugs.

It is important for parents to try to deter their kids from using vapes, but don’t think to assume your child’s future is over because they have vaped.

There are steps that can be taken to encourage adolescents to stop vaping without having them turn away from their parents:

House Bill 97 has been introduced to improve the laws to include vaping in the same capacity that it does tobacco. This means that in all of the places that had banned smoking cigarettes now includes vaping as well. There is no more vaping allowed then in any community area with children, museums, schools, and child care centers as well as others.

This is a big step against vape products that demonstrate there is cause to worry about them being safe.

Vaping has been a controversial thing for years now, but the legislature is getting involved more and more in the industry. This interest in vaping for most people is primarily about the epidemic with children using vape products because it does present the biggest threat.

Teen smoking had almost disappeared before the introduction of vaping and it is on the rise again. Electronic cigarettes are not harmless and really need to be researched for their long term effects on adults and teens alike before they can be pushed as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes.

About Amanda Tackett

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