The Dangers of Vaping

The Idea Of Vaping
Over the past few years, vaping has been increasing its popularity to the public. The idea of a vape dates back to the mid-1920s but was later introduced again in the early 2000s. Though vaping has been improving its style and while making its comeback, it hasn’t been decreasing its health risks. Previous research has shown that vaping for any period of time, can lead to chronic health problems. Lung diseases, respiratory infections, and so many other health risks have been linked to vaping. It is true that vaping and better than smoking, but it doesn’t mean that it’s one-hundred percent safe.

What Is Vaping?
So, what is vaping? Vaping is when someone inhales and exhales an aerosol, a mist of liquid or fine particles. Inside a vape contains a mouthpiece, cartridge, some type of heating element, and a battery. The difference between a vape and a typical cigarette is that vapes use vape juice, the liquid substance used to vape, and they also have several electronic components. Cigarettes, on the other hand, have more paper made material in them. With a cigarette paper to hold the tobacco, a paper filter, and tipping paper at the end. Cigarettes and vapes may have their differences, but there is one thing that they share in common, Nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in both vapes and cigarettes. This is why it’s so hard to quit because nicotine makes the brain more and more addicted to it every single time the act is done. What’s worse, people under the age of 18 have been vaping more often nowadays. With vaping’s popularity rising, its hospitalization rate is increasing as well.

Vaping’s History
Vaping’s intended use was actually to help chronic smokers to quit smoking. Smokers would vape to cut down their nicotine cravings by lowering their dosage. For chronic smokers, the dosage would be on the higher end, about 25-35mg (milligrams), while others may start lower. As the smoker vapes more often, the amount of nicotine in the e-liquid will be cut in small increments to ease their way to 0mg of nicotine, or to a significantly less amount. As this method was effective and did help some people quit, non-smokers heard of the vape and wanted to give it a try. People who had never had any dosage of nicotine in their body, they became addicted to nicotine; the exact opposite of what vaping was supposed to do. Production and manufacturing companies also joined in and created other forms of vapes like vape pens, juuls, and other electronic smoking devices. These forms of vapes then attracted the teenage demographic and soon middle and high school students are now vaping

The Ingredients
Another big question is, what’s in a vape? Inside a vape are a mouthpiece, a cartridge, a heating element, and a battery. Inside the cartridge contains the vape juice or e-liquid, which is used to be converted into an aerosol that can be inhaled. Depending on the brand and flavoring, the ingredients of the vape juice will vary. However, most vape companies will have the following ingredients in their product.

  • Water-Water is usually used as a base to create an aerosol.
  • Vegetable Glycerin- Glycerin is another word for sugar or sweetener. Vegetable Glycerin is derived from the sugar compounds from vegetables or other produce. According to the FDA, it is safe for human consumption.
  • Propylene Glycol- Propylene Glycol is also a sweetener that can replace Vegetable Glycerin. While it is a sweetener, it also doubles as a preservative to help keep the e-liquid fresh.
  • Flavorings – Most e-liquids have flavorings to make the vaping experience more enjoyable. It’s unknown on what’s in flavorings, but there is a variety of flavors such as an assortment of candies, creams and custards, and even tobacco.
  • Nicotine – As mentioned, Nicotine is an addictive chemical. Depending on the brand, the dosage of Nicotine used in e-liquids will also vary.
  • Other Chemicals: There are also other chemicals that are produced when vaping, some may be harmless while others can cause severe health problems.
  • Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is not only found in the vapor of vapes but is also found in the smoke of tobacco and cigarettes. According to Insider and the EPA, ‘ Formaldehyde is classified as a “ probable human carcinogen ”. Carcinogen means substance causing cancer to the living tissues.
  • Acrolein – Acrolein is a highly flammable substance that evaporates easily. If Acrolein penetrates the body it can cause several health issues. According to Insider, Acrolein is often found in weed killer products.
  • Diacetyl – Diacetyl was used as a flavoring for popcorn because of its buttery like taste. Some brands use diacetyl in their flavorings, especially for popcorn flavors. However, it’s linked to a lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans or also known as ‘popcorn lung’.

Facts and Opinions
Now that we have the facts about vaping, but what about the opinions of the consumers? Do they view vaping as something negative, positive, or are they indifferent about it? We interviewed two students and asked them questions about how they feel about vaping and even interviewed our School Resource Officer, Officer Goodman.

Both students that were interviewed wished to be anonymous.

Student 1 –

  1.  What is your opinion on vaping?
    -In my opinion, doing it too much is bad for you but doing it occasionally is fine.
  2. Why do you think vaping is getting more popular?
    -Recently, it’s been more common to see a vape advertisement because it’s been heavily marketed as a better alternative to cigarettes/smoking.
  3. If you know someone who vapes what would you do?
    -If they’re doing it way too often, or in public settings then I would try to get them to stop.
  4. Would you ever try vaping?

Student 2 –

  1. What is your opinion on vaping?
    -To me, it’s not good in any way, shape, or form. I think it’s ridiculous how some people vape because they are just putting their body and health at risk.
  2. Why do you think vaping is getting more popular?
    -The spread of the idea through social media and teens post about vaping a lot more nowadays.
  3. If you know someone who vapes what would you do?
    -I would do everything I can to prevent them from doing it.
  4. Would you ever try vaping?
    -No, never in a million years.

Both students have different views about vaping. It’s fine if your views about vaping aren’t the same as someone else’s, but one thing that you should never do is vape in school. You also shouldn’t vape when you’re underaged, as you can be charged legally by the state of law. Officer Goodman answered some of the questions we had, one of them, in particular, is what consequences there are if you vape in school.

  1. If you know someone who is vaping, what should you do?
    -If you know of someone that is vaping you should report it to the nearest teacher or notify the School Resource Officer.
  2. What are some consequences students could face if they are caught vaping ( or have possession of a vape?
    -If a student is found in possession of any electronic smoking device they will be suspended from school and have charges pressed against them
  3. Are vapes and juuls banned in all schools?; Are they banned at ALMS and SHS?
    -Vapes and Juuls are banned in all City of Salem Schools.

What is your final message to the students/ the general public? Is there any advice you’d like to give?
-Stay true to yourself and make good choices. Officer Goodman loves each and every student in the school!

Vaping has been a controversial topic for the past couple of years. The debate on whether or not vaping is safe has been making headlines all over the media. Not only is it about the health risks being involved, but it’s also the fact that underaged kids are vaping in school or even in public. With the facts of what’s in vapes, what the health risks involved are, and the opinion of your fellow peers, what do you think about vaping?

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