E-Cigs: Why They Aren’t Okay
480,000: the number of deaths in the United States per year. The cause: smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes is still the single leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The good news is that cigarette smoking among teens did not increase, but it also did not decrease either. Today I’m here to talk about E-cigarette use, also known as e-hookahs and vape pens. Some of you may not think you’ve ever had an e-cig but if you’ve tried any kind of a vape pen, or anything that ever looked like this then you have:
The top one is of course a cigarette but everything underneath it is a type of e-cig.
E-cig use for high-school students is trending up, with 16 percent reporting using the devices in 2015, up from 13 percent in 2014 according to the Centers for Disease Control. The important thing to note is that using e-cigs or any kind of tobacco product is dangerous. As a teenager your brain is still developing and the nicotine along with other chemicals in e-cigs can have an effect.
- E-cig vapor is not harmless water vapor. In addition to nicotine, e-cig vapor can contain heavy metals, ultrafine particulates that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, and cancer causing agents.
- E-cig vapor also contain propylene glycol or glycerin and flavorings. Some e-cig manufacturers claim that the use of these ingredients is safe because they meet the FDA definition of what is known as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). However, what the FDA calls GRAS applies to ingestion of these ingredients (i.e., in food), not inhalation. The health effects of inhaling these substances, including from an e-cig, are unknown but considered unsafe.
- Inhaling e-cig vapor directly from the device or from secondhand vapor that is exhaled by users is potentially harmful to health. So just as inhaling second hand smoke from cigarettes is dangerous, so is inhaling secondhand vapor from an e-cig.
If you have tried to stop smoking cigarettes or e-cigs and have not been successful, stop by or call Youth Outreach. Did you know we have a Prevention Specialist as well as others that can help you achieve your goals? You can call us day or night: 1.866.538.8023.