Dangers of Vaping: What Every Parent Needs to Know
What if your child were getting addicted to nicotine and you didn't even know it?
By now, cigarettes have a negative enough reputation that many teenagers avoid them. However, in place of smoking traditional cigarettes, more children are vaping. And since 99% of these electronic cigarettes have nicotine, that means children are in more trouble of developing an addiction than ever before.
As a parent, it's important for you to understand the dangers of vaping. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know!
Very High Nicotine Levels
As we noted before, many teenagers know to avoid cigarettes because of the high amount of nicotine they contain. Unfortunately, many teens don't realize that most vapes and things like JUUL Pods contain nicotine.
And these devices don't just contain a small amount of nicotine. They contain high, concentrated levels of nicotine that are downright dangerous for developing bodies.
Most of the dangers of vaping come from the nicotine content in the devices. But these dangers often come as a surprise to teenagers who may be under the impression that vapes are much safer than cigarettes.
Nicotine Negatively Develops Brain Development
One of the health risks of vaping that is limited to young people is that it can impact their brain development. Teenage brains are still developing, including the parts of the brain responsible for impulse control and decision-making.
When teenagers sabotage their developing brains, it can lead to short-term consequences such as them failing classes in school. This would be bad enough because it can sabotage their education and their job future job prospects.
In the long term, it's possible for the lack of impulse control to become permanent. This can lead to many other bad decisions, including getting addicted to even more dangerous drugs.
Making Anxiety and Depression Worse
Speaking of developing brains, teenagers often experience extreme anxiety and depression. Their brains changing over time makes them more susceptible to this. And one of the negative health effects of vaping is that it can make anxiety and depression worse.
You may have noticed this when friends, family, or colleagues stop smoking. Most smokers are convinced they need to smoke in order to relax. However, those who quit smoking often feel better because they now have less anxiety and depression.
Because it's the nicotine that affects anxiety and depression, vaping can be just as bad as cigarettes. When teens walk away from vaping, though, they can enjoy an almost immediate boost in their mental health.
More Hidden Dangers of Vaping
Because most of the negative health effects surrounding vaping concern nicotine, you might think that vapes without nicotine would be safe. However, there are more hidden dangers of vaping you should know about.
For example, teens love the different vape flavors that are available. But some of the chemicals in those flavors, such as diacetyl, have been linked to lung disease.
Vapes also contain volatile organic compounds which may be dangerous. And the act of vaping involves inhaling fine particles within the lungs where they may cause damage.
Finally, vapes contain heavy metals like lead, nickel, and tin. And every hit of a vape exposes your teenager to those chemicals.
A Threat To Physical Health
Earlier, we focused on how vaping affects mental health. However, you should know vaping affects the physical health of teenagers as well.
Perhaps the biggest physical health threat is lung cancer. Again, the high nicotine content means that teenage vapers are at risk of developing lung cancer just as heavy smokers are.
In rare cases, vapes have been known to explode during use. This can lead to the permanent loss of teeth and other major internal damage.
Vaping can impact the quality of sleep as well. Considering that teenagers need more sleep than adults, this is a major concern.
Last but not least, vaping can lead to impotence. The risk of developing sexual dysfunction may be reason enough for some men to put down the vape.
Vaping Can Lead to Smoking
Growing up, you probably heard that smoking marijuana was bad because it was a "gateway drug." The idea was that even though marijuana itself may be relatively harmless, someone using it may become a regular user of something more dangerous such as cocaine.
Over time, more people discovered that marijuana was not, in fact, a gateway to harder drugs. But in recent years, we've discovered something more surprising: vaping is, in fact, often a gateway to smoking cigarettes!
We noted before how many teenagers are lured to vaping because they see it as a safe alternative to cigarettes. The reality, though, is that many who vape as teenagers become regular cigarette smokers as adults.
This exposes their bodies to more nicotine and more risk of addiction. And those caught in a nicotine addiction are more likely to develop other dangerous addictions as they grow older.
Incidentally, when done right, vaping can help existing smokers quit cigarettes. But those who never smoked may be likelier to start once they begin vaping.
Unknown Longterm Health Effects
As you can see, there are many health risks of vaping that we know of. But most of what we know comes from studying the effects of nicotine on cigarette smokers over many years.
Since vaping is relatively new, the scariest thing about it is that we don't understand all of the long-term health effects. That means there may be many more dangers on top of the nicotine dangers that we know about.
What kinds of dangers? In 2017, a study found that those who vape are twice as likely to have respiratory issues as those who don't vape. And many have reported issues with everything from pneumonia to seizures that may be linked to vaping.
For parents, the takeaway is simple: we already know vaping is dangerous for teens. And in the coming years, we are only going to discover how much worse it is than we already thought!
Help Your Teenager Avoid Vaping Today
Here at Smoker's World, we are a leading authority on vaping. While we believe in the safe and responsible use of vaping for adults, we will never condone teenagers picking up the habit.
Want to learn more about the dangers of vaping so you can help protect your children? All you have to do is contact us today!