Proponents of vaping contend that vaping devices and electronic cigarettes offer a reasonably sensible replacement for regular cigarettes for adult smokers. Most of the controversy about vaping comes from an increase in teens and very young adults who have turned to vaping, and most of them never smoked cigarettes.
Here at Vapor Scapes, many folks have had success using vapes to quit smoking. At the same time, even a vaping website like Vapor Scapes recognizes the vaping risks for teenagers, children, and younger adults, especially those who never smoked or had a nicotine habit in the first place.
What’s the Risk With Teenage Vaping?
The U.S. Center for Disease Control, or CDC, mentions the following vaping risks for teens:
- As most people already know, nicotine is extremely addictive.
- Nicotine may also interfere with the development of young brains, and brains continue to develop into the early 20s.
- Some vaping juice may contain other potentially harmful substances, though most studies have agreed that it doesn’t contain as many harmful substances as regular cigarettes.
- Some authorities have concerns that vaping could become a gateway to smoking or even using other drugs.
Even the CDC admitted that vaping is probably safer than cigarettes, but that isn’t to say that they are totally safe. Nicotine may not even be the biggest problem because some e-liquids can contain other harmful chemicals and particles that may damage or inflame young lungs.
In addition, people don’t just vape for the nicotine. In states where marijuana is legal, dispensaries sell vaping juice with THC. Of course, only adults are supposed to legally buy this, but adults are only supposed to legally buy any “tobacco” products. This includes vaping devices and juice, even if they don’t contain tobacco.
The Stealth Vaping Problem for Teens
One of the problem with teen vaping is that it’s much easier to stealth vape than it is to hide smoking cigarettes. For instance, many vaping devices emit a small amount of vapor that has almost no odor or a scented odor. In other words, one of the benefits of adult vaping can turn into a negative for teens because teen vaping is much harder to catch than teen smoking.
Also, vaping devices may look like common objects. For instance, Juul devices look like flash drives. Other popular vaping devices look like pens or other common objects. Parents and educators may be wary of cigarettes but are likely to ignore vaping devices because they assume that the device is something else.
Why Would Teen Non-Smokers Vape?
Why do teens start vaping? It’s just as reasonable to consider reasons that young people start smoking. They may be attracted to the flavors, want to fit in for their friends, or even hope to self-medicate for anxiety or other issues. Just as parents and educators should talk to parents about smoking, it’s also important to speak with young people about vaping. If kids and younger adults cannot resist the lure of vaping, a visit to a doctor or therapist might be in order to address underlying problems.