E-Cigarettes: The Dangers of Teen Vaping

Alright guys, I’m just going to jump into it, teen vaping kills. Yes, I said it: those seemingly harmless, fruity flavored e-cigarettes are detrimental to one’s health, especially that of a developing preteen or teenager.

You can argue if you want, but the truth has been proven. In case you didn’t know, e-cigs can come loaded with or without nicotine and/or marijuana oil. We know that nicotine is addictive and causes lung cancer, but what we are seeing is the onset of a new kind of pneumonia with the accumulation of fat globules in the lungs. In an investigation by the State Department of Health, patients tested in the state of New York showed a compound called Vitamin E to be found in “very high levels” in their lungs, thus causing vaping-related illnesses.

FACT: The number of high school students who vape has doubled since 2017.

I know this is disturbing. The scariest part is, over 25% of high school students used e-cigarettes in the last month.

As of September 12th, the Trump administration is putting together a plan to ban flavored e-cigs due to the multiple recent deaths associated with smoking them. “We have a problem in our country, it’s a new problem, and it’s called vaping, especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children,” Trump discussed with reporters in the White House. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration is finalizing its “guidance document” that would eliminate all e-cigarette flavors available on the market, aside from tobacco flavoring.

What exactly is inside those e-cigs that kids are vaping into their lungs?

  • Propylene Glycol: stabilizer. This substance is used as a fog simulate in theater productions. E-cigarette liquids contain PG because it mixes well with flavoring ingredients, and when heated, produces a smoke-like vapor. Because it is a slight irritant, it also mimics the sensation of inhaling cigarette smoke. PG is generally recognized as safe and noncarcinogenic.
  • Vegetable Glycerin: generally considered safe. However, there is a possibility of allergic reactions, headaches, nausea, thirst and upset stomach in some people.
  • Flavorings: The main culprit causing lung damage and respiratory failure.
  • Optional: nicotine or marijuana, which are associated with many dangers including cancer and addiction.

What does the flavoring actually do to the lungs you ask? Ok, here you go:

  1. Cinnamon flavor was listed in a study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology as one of the most toxic vaping flavors. It impairs the ability of the lungs to get rid of mucus. As a result, a lot of gunk builds up in the lungs setting the stage for pneumonia and respiratory failure. It also destroys white blood cells, the front line in protecting our body from infection.
  2. Vanilla, with the toxic chemical vanillin, causes impaired blood vessel function, which is an early sign of heart damage. Higher levels of the inflammatory marker interleukin-6 and lower levels of nitric oxidecan certainly can be detrimental to heart health over time.
  3. Flavorings can also cause heart cell death, epithelial cell death, and when used at the highest levels, bronchial (lung) cell death.

These flavorings become even more dangerous when mixing multiple flavoring chemicals together and thus creating far more cell destruction than inhaling single flavor e-liquids.

What are the signs of vaping-related illness?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest Pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

If your child is displaying any of these symptoms and you suspect your teen is vaping, seek medical attention right away. Even if they are not displaying signs of vaping-related illness, the consequences of e-cigarette use and will last the rest of their lives. Vaping is extremely detrimental to brain and lung development and your child’s overall health.

Teen Vaping is Deadly

If you use e-cigarettes, please, do yourself a favor and STOP! If you are a child, teenager, young adult, or whatever age, please STOP using e-cigarettes immediately.

As parents, you must be vigilant, especially if you suspect your child is vaping. Is your child unusually irritable? Have they become more secretive? Does their bedroom actually smell good for a change? Do something about it, find and get rid of their e-cig ASAP. Ink pens and USB drives, e-cigs can be disguised as everyday items, don’t be fooled. Talk to them, explain to them the dangers. No child wants to go off to college with an oxygen tank or worse yet, not be alive to go off to college at all. There have been one too many deaths and this needs to stop NOW!


source: American Academy of Pediatrics

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