Vaping Facts vs. Fiction- Perspective Piece
September 17, 2019
By: Sarah Katz
Electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes, have become increasingly popular over the last decade. These vapes that are also known as e-pens, Juuls, and vape pens, are becoming more commonly used by children, teens, and young adults. With the increase in popularity, it’s essential to understand what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to electronic cigarettes and vapes.
– Vaping can cause a condition known as “Popcorn Lung”: this is a condition where scarring occurs in the tiny air sacs of the lungs. Popcorn Lung leads to the airways thickening and therefore narrowing. This lung disease can cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Many vaping products contain Diacetyl in the flavors that they use. This dangerous chemical has been known to cause “popcorn lung.”
– A new generation is getting hooked on nicotine: The flavoring used in vapes is very appealing to young users. The fruity flavors and sweet smell has led to the belief that it reduces the stigma of smoking. In 2015 the US surgeon general reported that vaping among students in high school went up 900%.
– Most parents do not know their children are vaping: Many parents reported that they were unaware their kids were vaping. Some parents compared the sweet smells to lotions and perfumes and said this made it harder to detect. A vape pen also looks small like a USB and could pass for an ink pen, which makes it less noticeable.
– Vapes do contain nicotine: Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine just like in traditional cigarettes. In 2015 a study was performed that confirmed 99% of electronic cigarettes sold in the United States contained nicotine. One JUUL pod (the preferred teen brand for vapes) has as much nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes.
– Vaping has no health risks/ it’s a healthy alternative: The vape juice can contain chemicals that cause cancer and nicotine. The aerosol in vape pens contains chemicals that are processed by the liver. Over time, this can build up in the body and lead to liver damage. It can also accumulate in the retina, which leads to potential retinal damage and blindness.
– They are not as addicting as real cigarettes: Both cigarettes and electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. Research suggests nicotine itself is just as addicting as heroin and cocaine. Vapes are sometimes even a higher concentration of nicotine and can come in an “extra strength” option.
– Electronic cigarettes will help you quit smoking: While many think that vapes can help one quit smoking, a recent study found that many people continued to smoke traditional and vapes even though they intended to stop smoking. Also, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of vapes as a way to quit smoking.
DISCLAIMER: Statements on this blog reflect the author’s personal opinion and do not represent the views or policies of the author’s employer, past or present, or any other organization with which the author may be affiliated. The purpose of this blog is for general knowledge. The reader is strongly encouraged to do their own research and speak with industry experts on all issues raised in any articles.
Colorado department of public health and environment
Perspective Pieces: A perspective “piece” is a personal opinion in writing that is a review of a certain topic. Usually, these are short essays that are intended to review concepts in a particular field based on writer’s own assessment.