Vaping, also known as e-cigarettes, have become increasingly popular in recent years. These devices have not only gained the attention of former smokers looking to quit. In fact, one of the largest demographics drawn to these devices is youth and teenagers. While vapes with fun flavors and cool smoke tricks may attract kids to use vape products, these vape products are also putting children at risk.
Vape products contain much more than just nicotine and flavoring. Many of the added chemical compounds in vape liquid is harmful to all users, regardless of age. A few of the most harmful compounds include:
- Diacetyl – this is a flavoring agent that can lead to a severe lung condition commonly known as “popcorn lung.”
- Nickle, tin, and other heavy metals that should not be inhaled
- Ultrafine particles that can be unknowingly inhaled into the lungs along with the vaping liquid
Nicotine is much more dangerous to children than it is to adults. Not only is the substance linked to high rates of addiction and dependency, but it can also inhibit brain development. Anyone under the age of 25 is still undergoing development of their adult brain. That means that when referring to nicotine use in youth, it actually applies to anyone under the age of 25.
For many young vape users, it’s a stepping stone to other tobacco use. Users may turn to normal cigarettes, chew, hookah, cigars, and other forms of nicotine to get their fix if they’re unable to vape. Some experts even believe that smokeless tobacco use encourages children to use alcohol and marijuana at a young age.
Serious Physical Injury
There have been multiple cases reported of teens and children injured by their vape device. That may sound strange, but it’s true! The batteries used in the devices have been known to explode during the charging process. This explosion could potentially harm the youth users, those around at the time of the explosion, and even spark a house fire.
Lowered Impulse Control
The use of addictive products at a young age can have adverse effects long-term. One of the most notable of those effects is a lack of impulse control. The nicotine alters the way that the brain functions and, over time, can lead to mood disorders and trouble with positive decision making. The pattern of use at a young age encourages lying, addictive behavior, and dangerous behavior all just to fit in with what the majority of their peers are doing.