January 13, 2020
Vaping was originally presented as an alternative to smoking. Some even claimed that it was a way to help people stop smoking. You have likely heard and seen the ad campaigns that have opened eyes about manufacturers targeting children and adolescents with their vape products that have flavors of candies and sweets. But all of these misleading claims are only part of the dangers of vaping. The real dangers of vaping lie with the thousands of people who have contracted serious lung illnesses due to vaping, and the dozens of people who have actually died because of it.
Not So Cool
The marketing of vape, JUUL, e-cigarettes, or whatever you choose to call them was carefully done to entice and mislead the public, and especially those who are underage and should never be using those products anyway. They were made to look “cool,” with vape pens disguised as other things so they wouldn’t be easily detected. Ads showed people exhaling these intense clouds of smoke. The flavors were not only delicious, but had cool names, too.
No one in those ads ever talked about the serious addiction, or the potential for serious lung illness. They did not talk about hospitalizations requiring medically-induced comas, breathing machines, and advanced life support interventions. No one ever said that if you vaped “Cotton Candy” you could die. That is not so cool.
Not Able to Stop
Nicotine has been described as one of the most addictive substances around. While vape manufacturers were not originally very open with the fact that vape products contain nicotine, many people found out the hard way, with a habit that they could not stop on their own. If you looked at vaping for what it really is – filling your lungs and body with chemicals that are incredibly harmful and addictive, then “Root Beer Float” wouldn’t be so enticing, right?
The problem is that with such an addictive substance as nicotine, once you have vaped a few times, your body is hooked, and it craves the nicotine with very powerful cravings. It is even more difficult for children and adolescents, whose bodies are still changing and growing, to be able to understand the risks and resist the temptation to start vaping. And it is even more difficult for them to stop.
Not Worth the Risk
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regularly updates their site about what we are learning about the dangers of vaping. One of the more recent findings is that the most dangerous types of vaping is vaping using marijuana products. Nearly all of the fatalities associated with vaping were due to using vape products with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Some people who are using the THC for medicinal purposes have found themselves much worse off with vaping.
Along with products containing THC they have found a chemical called Vitamin E acetate, which is largely thought to be the cause of these severe lung illnesses. The CDC warns people not to use any vape products containing THC or vitamin E acetate. They also warn not to use any “informal” sources of vape products, such as friends or family, or online or in person dealers. When in doubt, simply don’t vape at all, it is not worth the risk.
There is a lot of pressure to fit in. A lot of adolescents report peer pressure as one of the leading causes for starting any substance use. Vaping is no exception. Vape products are too accessible to those under 21 years of age, and the vape pens disguised as other devices make it relatively easy to carry around undetected. Vaping has all of the criteria for a habit that can be promoted by peer pressure.
But now you know that people actually die from vaping. That thousands have been hospitalized and their lungs will never be the same. Now you know that vaping is considered a health epidemic by the CDC, and that public health officials are pleading with people not to start vaping in the first place, not to get addicted. Now that you know, then you can educate other people. If someone is pushing you to vape, seek support from peers or adults that you trust to help you to resist the pressure. Because not only is vaping very addictive and even deadly, it is simply not necessary.
Not Too Late
If you are already vaping, and think you are addicted, it is not too late to get help and quit. Don’t wait until you are in the hospital or worse. You are worth being healthy. You are worth having lungs that are not seriously damaged. You are worth staying alive to tell others about how addictive vaping can be. You are worth keeping your lungs healthy and staying free of addiction, and you are worth living. As long as you are still breathing, it is not too late.
You cannot buy into the myths about vaping, or the way that vape products have been specifically marketed to adolescents and children. The dangers are very real, and very lethal. Nothing is worth winding up a statistic. Remember that if you are vaping, you can stop. Seek help today and live to tell about it. Your life is more important than a trend.
Resist the temptation to vape. If your life is out of control on any level, call Potomac Programs 1-855-809-0409 today. Educate yourself about vaping, then call for help.