In the past 20 years, a dramatic increase of addictive e-cigarettes and vaping devices have been circulating and marketed toward young adults, with one in five high schoolers using a vape device in the past month. Vaping devices, also known as cigarettes, e-hookahs, mods, and vape pens come in various shapes and sizes but work in a similar way; inhaling from the device activates the battery powered device, heating the liquid which can be inhaled and then vaporized. Vaping exposes the lungs to chemicals including tobacco (nicotine) or marijuana (THC), flavorants, and other harmful chemicals that are added to vaping liquids. Although vaping may be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, they can still greatly damage a users health.
The following are three of the biggest risks associated with vaping:
Addiction: The brain is developing until age 25, and using addictive substances, such as nicotine, causes neurological damage to important parts of the brain that can affect development.
Anxiety and depression: Vaping can worsen an individuals mental health and increase the likelihood of developing anxiety and depression. It also affects memory, concentration, self-control, and attention, especially in developing brains.
Lung and heart problems: The ingredients in vaping devices, including the toxic chemical formaldehyde, are extremely harmful to a user's lungs and daily vaping is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks.
Talking to constituents about difficult subjects, including addictive substances, can be difficult. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a comprehensive preventative guidebook to Reducing Vaping Among Youth and Young Adults. Other resources to aid in quitting nicotine include This is Quitting, the first-ever text-to-quit vaping service that is just a text away and is available 24/7 to constituents with their cravings, stresses, and slips. Text DITCHVAPE to 88709 to learn more about the steps to quit vaping!