With savvy and aggressive marketing, vaping has cemented a corner of the tobacco industry—an industry that was starting to decline before e-cigarettes hit the scene.
While e-cigarettes can be helpful as a part of a smoking cessation program, many teens are picking up vaping as a lifestyle habit all on its own. And, with the constant message from vaping companies that using e-cigarettes is safe, it can be tough to see why people should be concerned with vaping.
In fact, it has reached a point that when parents contact us at Help Your Teen Now, it is fairly common to hear that their teen vapes, along with having other behavioral issues, though the parents are often less alarmed about the vaping. However, as more research goes into investigating e-cigarettes and vape liquid, disturbing health consequences are being unveiled.
Vaping Usage Among Teens Is Climbing
First, parents need to understand how prevalent vaping is becoming among teens. Prior to vaping, smoking cigarettes and other more traditional types of tobacco consumption was dropping among youth. However, between 2017-2019, the number of teens using e-cigarette doubled. That is a shocking growth, especially with a product that was never intended to be consumed by minors.
Some teens may try to claim to their parents that the vaping liquid is harmless and is essentially just water vapor. However, almost all e-cigarette juice has nicotine in it, with the popular flavored JUUL liquid containing a pack of cigarettes worth of nicotine in one cartridge. There are also other dangerous chemicals in it.
E-Cigarette Juice Can Harm Teens’ Health
Along with the nicotine in most types of e-cigarette liquid, there is a slurry of other chemicals teens are inhaling when they vape. From the flavoring to delivery additives, there are many ways e-cigarette juice can harm a teen’s health.
- Oral health – There are several ways that vaping impacts teens’ oral health. For one thing, the nicotine can shrink blood vessels, which can hide signs of gum disease. Also, if they vape sweet-flavored liquid, the leftover residue can attract bacteria and increase the number of cavities.
- Respiratory system – A mysterious lung ailment has begun to show up among those who vape. The exact cause is difficult to pin down, especially when people use off-market vaping liquid. And as teens can’t legally obtain vaping juice, it is far more likely that they will use the illicit vaping liquid, running the risk of developing a respiratory disorder.
- Burns – If teens use modded vapes or dangerous, unregulated e-cigarettes, the risk of them overheating and burning the user is far higher. Some e-cigarettes have even exploded, causing fires, grave bodily harm, and even resulting in death.
Nicotine In Vape Liquid Can Impair Teens’ Developing Brain
One of the most serious consequences of teens vaping is the harm that the nicotine can do to their developing brains. According to an in-depth study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using nicotine while the brain is still developing can cause a greater propensity to risk-taking behaviors.
Teens who vape can also create greater susceptibility to substance abuse and even cause cognitive issues, which will make learning far more difficult. As the human brain isn’t fully developed before 25 years old, the popularity of vaping among teens and young adults is even more alarming.
Vaping Can Be A Sign Of Troubled Behaviors To Come
With the many ways that vaping can affect a teen’s health and mental development, it is not surprising that regular vaping has been associated with other troubling behaviors. As it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes and vaping accessories to teens, those teenagers who do indulge in vaping have already broken some laws.
Much like with the quintessential “bad kids” who would smoke by the school dumpsters or in the bathrooms, the teens who engage in vaping are often trying to be seen as edgy and rebellious.
In fact, vaping as a gateway to other poor behaviors is a common thread among teens who attend a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. Thankfully, many of these schools have developed ways to help teens overcome their addiction to vaping.
If your teenager has started to indulge in vaping, it is essential that you address the issue before they form an addiction and suffer from lifelong health consequences.