09 Mar E-cigarettes are a Dangerous Road for the Addicted
Electronic cigarettes are the newest trend among young people. The industry claims that they’re not addictive, like traditional nicotine products are, yet the numbers suggest otherwise.
Rates among teens using e-cigarettes have been growing at an alarming pace — a 900 percent increase among high school students between 2011 and 2015.
E-cigarettes are being promoted by the industry as a much safer nicotine product. Advocates claim e-cigarettes are not addictive and can even help people quit smoking.
It’s true that the nicotine amount is much smaller in e-cigarettes. But they’re far from being harmless, especially for youth and young adults.
Advocates often cite a U. K government study that concluded that e-cigarettes have the potential to help smokers quit. However, the U.S. government and health advocates view e-cigarette smoking as a major public concern and caution that there is not enough evidence to support that claim.
If you are struggling with addiction or are the parent of a young person who is fighting to stay clean, you must treat e-cigarettes with great caution. Consider these facts:
- Any kind of exposure to nicotine during adolescence is harmful to the developing brain and can cause addiction.
- Although the vapor has fewer toxic substances than traditional cigarettes, aerosol from the “vapes” is not harmless.
- Little is known about the long-term effects of the chemicals in e-cigarettes. They contain as many as 30 chemical compounds, such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen; vegetable glycerin, which can cause organ damage; propylene glycol, which in liquid form is similar to antifreeze; and glycidol, a probable carcinogen.
- Some of the chemicals are even more harmful when heated. For example, propylene glycol turns into propylene oxide, a carcinogen.
- Evidence suggests that use of e-cigarettes among youth and young adults is associated with both the use of other tobacco products and other risky behaviors such as alcohol and marijuana abuse.
- The design of e-cigarettes allows them to be used for cannabinoids and other drugs, which means they could facilitate the use of these drugs.
- The nicotine dose is inconsistent from one manufacturer to the next. Some studies have found that these levels could vary from negligible to as high as — or even higher than — in traditional cigarettes.
- Ingestion can cause acute toxicity or death, and the number of accidental ingestion cases is rapidly growing.
Although research is very limited on the long-term effects of e-cigarette smoking, some studies have concluded that they can increase the risk of addiction to drugs.
It will take time to prove or disprove this and other suggestive evidence. The question is, do you really want to take the risk in the meantime? Do you think it’s smart to indulge in something that could be a trigger for your addiction, however small the chances are?