In the past several years, vaping has become a popular method of smoking that seems to be sweeping the globe. Although e-cigarettes and similar products have been on the market for over ten years, people are just now starting to talk about it. One reason for this is that the product is readily available to teenagers and young people, sparking controversy and conversation about the health effects vaping can have on children.
As a certified sleep and breathing specialist, Dr. Mayank Shukla is looking to give patients answers to their concerns about vaping. Smoking e-cigarettes poses great harm to children and teenagers. We advise against using them in general. Whether or not older adults choose to vape is their legal choice. Still, laws regulate the sale and production of most vaping products.
What Exactly is Vaping?
You may have heard the smoking of e-cigarettes referred to as “vaping.” This word describes the process of smoking (inhaling and exhaling) the vapors produced by the electronic cigarette device. These vapors usually consist of liquid nicotine as well as flavoring and other chemicals to enhance the smoking experience.
Other words for e-cigarettes include “vape,” “vape pen,” or “JUUL” (pronounced jewel). This is in reference to an e-cigarette company, JUUL, that recently went under interrogation for marketing its vape products towards a teenage audience.
Vaping started as a smoking cessation tool. Although e-cigarettes still produce nicotine and use tobacco, fewer dangerous chemicals are being inhaled during the process. Not to mention, vapor comes out clean, so it does not have such a bad effect on the lungs compared to smoke. It was originally easier for smokers to switch to vaping to quit smoking altogether. But now, it has become the next teen sensation. We need to look at the effects of vaping on children in more detail.
Why is Vaping Bad for Kids?
It is entirely unsafe for teens, children, and even young adults to regularly use e-cigarettes. The effects of vaping on children can be long-lasting. This is for several reasons:
Vape products contain nicotine, which is the addictive quality of cigarettes. This chemical not only creates an addiction in the brain, but it also can even hinder brain development in adolescents by changing the way necessary synapses are formed.
Young kids who start vaping are more likely to form an addiction to real cigarettes as they grow older. Nicotine still influences the brain even in vapor form, and it may encourage kids to smoke more often.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain other harmful chemicals, including diacetyl, volatile organic compounds, nickel, lead, or fine particles that can get into the lungs. Some of these substances cannot be absorbed and therefore damage the respiratory system.
Other Risks and Health Effects
The health effects suffered as a result of smoking tobacco and nicotine are no secret. However, some other symptoms and complications can also occur from vape pens. While there is still a lot of debate, some studies have surfaced to show how vaping is harmful to the body.
For example, some of the chemicals used to create different vape flavorings can be harmful to the lungs. The flavors might be able to be ingested, as the digestive system can process and absorb different substances. But the lungs have a different design. Putting different chemicals into the lungs could result in permanent damage.
Always be sure to keep vaping products out of reach of small children. There have been several cases of children getting poisoned by absorbing the vape liquid into their skin. Others have been burned by playing with the overheated battery.
Stay Clean from Vaping
Although vaping was originally meant to help smokers quit their bad habit, it is now a common trend among young people and even teenagers. When the company JUUL made a USB-sized vape, there was an upsurge in teen smoking rates and teen health complications as a result of vaping. Not only is it an unhealthy habit, but it’s an expensive one, too! Save your wallet and your well-being by steering clear of e-cigarettes. If you are looking to schedule a consultation with the best asthma doctor in New York City, contact us online or give us a call at 917-924-6383 right away.