As Vaping Claims Young Lives, Here’s What You Need to Know
Vaping is the process of smoking e-cigarettes that allows users to inhale nicotine, while also avoiding some of tobacco’s harsher substances. Although vaping has been marketed as a cleaner and safer alternative to traditional cigarettes due to its filtration of chemicals, this simply isn’t true. Vaping not only causes a range of health issues, but as recently reported, it also has led to a number of deaths.
Are you or is someone you know vaping? Do you have older children in your family who may be interested in trying vaping? If so, here’s what you need to know about the risks and dangers of this increasingly popular trend.
Vaping versus Cigarettes
From emphysema and chronic bronchitis to lung cancer and heart disease, the dangers of smoking are well documented, leading many people to vape because they think it’s safer than cigarettes. The truth? Even though vaping uses “non-combustible nicotine” so that it doesn’t have the odor of smoking, vaping and cigarettes are both a major risk to your health.
This mass misconception isn’t accidental. For years, the tobacco industry has promoted vaping as a way to stop smoking, even though it hasn’t been proven effective for this. In fact, instead of weaning people off tobacco altogether, vaping has now been shown to be a starting point for many teenagers to move into smoking.
The Health Risks of Vaping
As vaping increases in popularity, so do the cases of serious illness and death. Vaping has been linked to seizures, lung issues (such as inflammation of the lungs or collapsed lungs), extreme shortness of breath, low oxygen levels, nicotine toxicity and more. Furthermore, people with asthma or other breathing issues are at greater risk for complications when vaping, as this potential airway irritant can trigger a severe asthma attack. Young people who vape also are at risk for suffering from chronic lung disease for the rest of their lives.
There also are other dangerous behaviors commonly associated with vaping. Many e-cigarette users fill empty cartridges with cannabis liquids or their own mix of products. The health risks of inhaling these homemade vaping cocktails are numerous. Most inhaled flavorings and dyes in commercial vaping liquids also haven’t been studied for their toxicity, causing great harm in teens across the U.S.
The Dangerous Link Between Teens and Vaping
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids, teens and young adults are particularly at risk for illness or death from vaping. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even labeled vaping as “an epidemic” among teens. Unfortunately, vaping is now something that parents everywhere need to be aware of.
As no child is completely immune from peer pressure, parents should consider sitting down and having a conversation with their kids about e-cigarettes. Consider asking them if they see other kids at school who vape or if they have friends who vape. Don’t accuse them or be negative while gathering information. Instead, regardless of their answer, talk to them about the risks of vaping. Make sure they understand that thousands of teens have become seriously ill in recent months from vaping, or even died. You also can encourage them to ask you questions, research it online and share information about vaping with their peers.
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