Teens Vaping – The Dangers of Vaping

If you’re a high school student, you’ve probably seen other teens vaping or perhaps have even tried it yourself. Vaping is a growing trend among teenagers because of the perceived health benefits, fun flavors and peer pressure. The problem is that vaping can actually open the door to addiction and other serious health issues.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that mimic smoking by producing an aerosol (or mist) of vapor that looks like water but contains nicotine, flavoring and more than 30 other chemicals. When inhaled, these chemicals cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the body, where they can affect several important functions, including heart rate, blood pressure and mood.

Vape come in all shapes and sizes, but most have the same components: a mouthpiece, a small cup that holds the e-liquid with flavors and chemicals, and an atomizer or heating element that turns the liquid into a fine mist you can inhale. The earliest devices looked very much like cigarettes; newer ones may look more like USB flash drives or tiny pods.

The e-liquids used in vaping products can contain a mix of things, but most are made from propylene glycol, which is toxic to the lungs and can cause inflammation or scarring of the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. Many of these liquids also contain nicotine and heavy metals, which can poison the lungs or cause other health problems.

Inhaling vapor from a vape doesn’t just harm your lungs, it can damage your brain and lead to nicotine addiction. It can also cause lung infections and may increase your chances of getting cancer. The vapor produced by the device also can pollute indoor air with secondhand smoke, which clings to clothes and furniture and can be breathed in or absorbed through the skin.

Because of its health risks, the FDA recommends that no one start vaping or continue vaping. The agency also warns against buying or selling e-cigarettes to people under 21 years of age and recommends that adults not use vaping to help them quit smoking or to replace traditional tobacco products.

Talking to young people about the dangers of vaping can make a difference. If you know a teen who’s vaping, encourage them to seek counseling and treatment and to stop. Your brain, your body, and your family deserve better.

Ask your provider or therapist about free resources to help you quit, like online, text and phone services or apps, or get support from friends or family. Make a list of reasons why you want to quit and look at it or think of it when you’re feeling tempted to vape. Avoid situations and triggers that make you want to vape, and instead, try distracting yourself with other things or doing some exercise, which can boost your mood and keep you feeling happy and healthy. If you can’t quit right away, try to cut down your usage over time. For example, instead of grabbing your vape when you feel stressed, try drinking some water or chewing sugar-free gum or lollipops.

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