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Is vaping the new smoking for teens?

Teens who vape are much more likely to start smoking eventually when compared to teens who have never tried a vape – so who wins in the long run?

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

Surveys have found that teens are now twice as likely to use an e-cigarette, or a vape, over trying a cigarette, which has been hailed by some to be a step in the right direction. But it doesn’t end there, teens who vape are much more likely to start smoking eventually when compared to teens who have never tried a vape – so who wins in the long run? 

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by a vaporizer. For many people their introduction to vaping began with e-cigarettes that mimicked the look and nicotine of a real cigarette, but as the industry boomed vaporizers became more complex, with many now looking nothing like cigarettes and the liquids they contained became more varied. Now a wide range of liquids can be vaped from fruit-flavored cocktails to more illicit THC vape juice’s. 

What are teens vaping?

When it comes to the teenage demographic a large number of vapers have never smoked before making nicotine flavored liquids less appealing. In fact, one survey found that only 13.2% of teens say that they use a nicotine-containing liquid in there vape, with 5.8% confessing to using marijuana and 66% sticking to just flavorings. 

Why has vaping taken off?

In most countries, smoking advertisements have been banned for many years and yet vaping is yet to be subjected to the same standard. The same survey suggests that 7 in 10 teens are exposed to vaping ads with both middle and high school students confessing that their curiosity was peaked by an advertisement they saw on the internet, in film or in the newspaper. 

What is wrong with vaping? 

When vaping was first introduced it was intended as a way to help people break their addiction to cigarettes and therefore was widely considered a healthier alternative. People weren’t meant to vape for a long period of time and yet now vaping has become a habit in itself as demonstrated by the fact that so many people who vape have never previously smoked cigarettes. As more people began vaping, studies began showing that inhaling vaporized liquid into your lungs may not be as good for you as people first thought and given that vaping had only been around for a short people of time, people really didn’t know or understand what the effects of vaping could be in the long run. In addition to unknown side effects, there is also a distinct lack of regulation within the e-liquid industry meaning that many people don’t even know the composition of the liquid inside their vape leading them vulnerable to toxic substances that they are then drawing down deep into their lungs. 

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What is being done to make vaping safer?

In many countries vaping is now restricted to try and limit the access that teens have to vaporizers and e-liquids but they are still readily available online. As with cigarettes, teens are always going to be able to get there hands on something if they want it and so the key here is to provide education to young people about the dangers of vaping and how they can help to keep themselves safe. 

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