Vaping

What we know about this new tobacco product

What is vaping?

Vaping is the inhaling of vapor created by an electronic cigarette device, like an e-cigarette or vape pen. They contain e-liquids, nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. These liquids are often flavored, featuring hundreds of bold flavors and flashy packaging that are often designed to appeal to teens, making them seem more like candy than addictive substances. But the truth is 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, making them highly addictive. And no matter how sleek the device is, vaping nicotine isn’t just harmful—it’s dangerous.

Health Effects of Vaping on Teens

Teenagers aren’t done growing, and neither are their brains. Nicotine exposure at a young age can cause irreversible damage and pave the way for addiction to tobacco products and other harmful substances. Decades of research show that nicotine is as addictive as heroin—and many teens don’t realize that the tobacco products they’re using contain this ingredient that can create an addiction within days of first use.

E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes, also referred to as e-cigs or vapes, are battery-operated electronic nicotine delivery systems used to inhale an aerosol, which is made from a liquid or e-juice that usually contains nicotine. This liquid is sold in irresistible flavors, which helps a dangerous product appear deceivingly harmless.

While the long-term health effects of vaping are unknown, there is evidence that nicotine can affect the developing brain, making it important to prevent youth use. More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are currently on the market.

Vape pens

Vapes come in many shapes and sizes that appeal especially to kids. Some look like cigarettes while others can be mistaken for a USB flash drive or pen. Easy to overlook, vape pens are often disguised to look like everyday items.

No matter what they look like, vapes and e-cigarettes heat a liquid that contains harmful chemicals and nicotine into an aerosol, which is then inhaled. Designed to be discreet, the vape pen is one of the most popular types of vaporizers. Other names for vape pens include dab pens, pen vapes, vapor pens, or wax pens.

juul

Small, sleek and discreet, a JUUL is a new type of e-cigarette with a tech-inspired design that resembles a USB flash drive. The most popular device among teens, a JUUL is small enough to fit in a closed fist, making it easy to hide. It’s also highly addictive. One Juul pod has as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes – and sometimes even more. That’s roughly equal to nearly 200 cigarette puffs. Similar to e-cigarettes, JUUL devices heat up a cartridge containing oils to create vapor.

E-hookahs

The e-hookah follows the same general concept as a traditional hookah, but these devices produce vapor instead of smoke. Similar in appearance to most e-cigarettes, e-hookahs are often slightly larger and more colorful. They use a battery, atomizer, and fluid which provides a vapor which can be breathed in.

E-hookahs can produce larger clouds of vapor than other comparable devices. They are lightweight, portable, and come in a variety of flavors. Like other vaping devices, they often contain nicotine, which makes them highly addictive.

Hookah pens

Hookah pens, also known as shisha pens, are similar in appearance to other e-cigarette devices. They can be rechargeable or disposable, and often come in a wide array of popular flavors.

Becoming more popular by the day, they’re known for producing huge smoke-like clouds of vapor. Small, convenient, and easy-to-use, hookah pens offer a hookah-like experience without the need for setting up a whole hookah. Often marketed as safer or more natural, hookah pens still often contain nicotine or a number of other potentially dangerous chemicals.

Mods

Larger in size than most e-cigarettes, Vape Mods are known for their high vapor production. In short, they “modify” the vaping experience. They can have larger batteries and usually hold more e-liquid. Even the heating unit inside can be more powerful than normal.

These days, the term ‘mod’ has evolved and can refer to any sort of vaping set up that uses mods. Some modders will even build their own heating coils and tailor them to their own needs. Mods allow users to produce “vape tricks” and “cloud competitions.” Vape mods can be highly addictive, thanks to higher power, bigger vapor and larger tanks.

Safety Concerns

Contrary to popular belief, the aerosol produced is not just harmless water vapor. The aerosol contains ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead are also found in the vapor, in addition to other cancer-causing chemicals and volatile organic compounds. E-cigarette devices also produce chemicals like acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, both of which can cause lung disease. Due to a lack of regulation, it’s hard to know what’s actually in the e-liquids. Other harmful and addictive substances can be added, sometimes without the user knowing.

SOURCES

Sassano MF, Davis ES, Keating JE, Zorn BT, Kochar TK, Wolfgang MC, et al. (2018) Evaluation of e-liquid toxicity using an open-source high-throughput screening assay. PLoS Biol 16(3): e2003904. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2003904

Bein K, Leikauf GD. (2011) Acrolein – a pulmonary hazard. Mol Nutr Food Res 55(9):1342-60. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100279.

Ogunwale, Mumiye A et al. (2017) Aldehyde Detection in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols. ACS omega 2(3): 1207-1214. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.6b00489].

Why Quit?

Vaping isn’t good for your health. It’s addictive and full of toxic chemicals. E-cigarettes contain nicotine just like traditional cigarettes—sometimes in even higher concentrations.

They also aren’t a proven method for quitting smoking. There are other, safer alternatives for quitting smoking that are better choices. Quitting is good for your body and great for your lungs. Don’t expose yourself to potentially hazardous chemicals and substances. We know it’s hard to quit, so don’t give up, even if you’ve tried and failed in the past. You can do it and we can help.

Get Help Quitting

If you’re ready to quit, we’re ready to help. Just pick the tools, free services or combinations you like best. They’re all proven to help you succeed. Get started today.

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