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Vaping and the negative effects of big tobacco’s most popular cigarette alternative

Daniela Gonzalez

Vaping has become a fad and a great substitute for cigarettes, but in the long run, vaping has been proven to come with some big risks.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the inhaling and exhaling of vapor from an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or an activated e-cigarette. An electronic cigarette or vape is a device that simulates tobacco smoking. 

Vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years.

From 2015 to 2021, the number of people vaping has increased from 4.2 million to 55 million consumers worldwide according to Cross River Therapy. 

In the United States, there are estimated to be 9.9 million consumers currently. Most alarmingly for medical professionals, it is becoming more popular with adolescents and young adults. Of those 2.14 million are high school students, 380,000 middle school students and 2.3 million are between the ages 18-24. 

The effects of vaping

Daniela Gonzalez

A study from the University of North Carolina found that the two primary ingredients found in e-cigarettes are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. These chemicals are toxic to cells and increase toxicity with additional ingredients in an e-liquid. These aldehydes (chemicals) can cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular disease.

A wide range of studies, including those from CNN and the Mayo Clinic, reveal that vaping affects the body in a variety of ways. These effects include:

  • Insomnia due to the stimulation that usually comes from the nicotine content in e-liquid. 
  • Lung inflammation due to the absorption of the vapors through the lungs, leading to a  weakened ability to do physical activity.
  • Erectile dysfunction due to problems with blood circulation.
  • Mood changes, such as irritability. 

Nicotine also affects brain concentration, learning, memory, brain development, and anxiety, as well as an increased risk of future use of other illicit substances according to information and data from recent Surgeon General’s reports.

The graph reflects statistics of 2021 vaping usage among multiple age groups. (Daniela Gonzalez)

Vaping devices were created by Hon Link and Herbert A. Gilbert to help people kick their addiction to tobacco cigarettes, Netflix states in their documentary “Big Vape.” However, the creators didn’t count on the fact that while many stopped smoking cigarettes, now they couldn’t stop vaping. 

Many people, especially teenagers, who try to stop vaping have failed due to how strong the addictive effects of nicotine are.

TikTokers have taken to the app to document their process of stopping vaping, and viewers can see that they are anxious, tired, stressed, or that they are simply struggling with nicotine withdrawals.

Quitting vaping

Some recommendations for quitting vape include

  • Write down your goal. Write down all the reasons why you want to quit smoking, like the money you’ll save or the stamina you’ll gain for playing sports; this will help you remain motivated to stick with your plan to quit.
  • Get support. You can get support from friends, family, or counselors. You can also join a support group. People are more likely to meet their goals if they discuss them with others.
  • Pick a day that you’ll stop smoking, and stick to it.
  • Dispose of all nicotine products and devices. 
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Daniela Gonzalez, Staff Writer

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  • H

    Hector LozanoFeb 1, 2024 at 4:23 am

    It is very interesting in how a study and research can make people reconsider what they are consuming almost daily, even as mentioned there are many high school people who do it simply for the influence of knowing how they look at themselves through social networks, it is something very unintelligent, I hope this topic can be delved into much more depth and make people think about Vapes

  • E

    Emeterio GonzalezJan 31, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    Great article