E-Cigarettes and Vaping: Why It's Bad for You
The U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, has issued a report on vaping in the U.S. He warns of the dangers of E-cigarette use, primarily among youth. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol (vapor, stream). Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol generated by the e-cigarette.
E-cigarettes are also known as:
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
E-cigarettes can look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items.
The products inside e-cigarettes vary:
Marijuana and other drugs
Harmful ingredients, such as heavy metals, nickel, tin, and lead
Nicotine: Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. All JUUL e-cigarettes contain a high level of nicotine.
Toxic to developing fetuses
Can cause addiction
Brain development begins in the womb and continues to age 25. Using nicotine during this time frame can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Each time a new memory is created, or a new skill is learned, stronger connections called synapses are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed
Aerosol: Can contain harmful substances, such as cancer-causing chemicals and tiny particles that reach deep into lungs.
Defective e-cigarette batteries cause fires and explosions, some resulting in serious injuries. This most often occurs when e-cigarette batteries are charging
Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes
E-cigarettes are the most commonly used form of tobacco by youth in the U.S.
More than 60% of teens believe that e-cigarettes cause little or only some harm as long as they are used sometimes
In 2018, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days
E-cigarette use, from 2017 to 2018, increased 78% among high school students (11.7% to 20.8%) and 48% among middle school students (3.3% to 4.9%)
Reasons named for using e-cigarettes:
The belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other tobacco products
E-cigarettes are a 2.5 billion dollar business in the U.S. As of 2014, the e-cigarette industry spends $125 million a year to advertise their products
Flavored e-cigarettes are very popular among young adults. More than 9 of 10 young adult users said they use e-cigarettes flavored to taste like menthol, alcohol, candy, fruit, chocolate, or other sweets
E-cigarette marketing appeals to a young audience, featuring bright colors and flavors that youth find attractive and interesting
The top-selling e-cigarette brand in the U.S.
Is shaped like a USB flash drive. News outlets report widespread use by students in schools
All JUUL e-cigarettes have a high level of nicotine. A single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes
Juuling: another term for vaping
On November 15, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. released a statement proposing new steps to protect youth by preventing access to flavored tobacco products and banning menthol in cigarettes.
FDA will hold a public hearing on January 19, 2019 to discuss efforts to eliminate youth e-cigarette use, with a focus on the potential role of drug therapies to support cessation and the issues impacting the development of such therapies.