The rising popularity of vaping has been dramatic, especially among teenagers.
E-cigarettes use a battery-powered device that heats a liquid to form vapors — or, more accurately, aerosol — that the user can inhale (thus “vaping”). These devices heat up various flavorings, nicotine, marijuana, or other potentially harmful substances. Nicotine is addictive, of course. And while that fact is prominently displayed in advertising, we know from experience with regular cigarettes that warnings don’t always work!
Health risks of vaping
The recent tragic and alarming cases of severe lung disease are clearly cause for concern. A number of other health effects are also worrisome:
Nicotine is highly addictive and can affect the developing brain, potentially harming teens and young adults. Even some “nicotine-free” e-cigarettes have been found to contain nicotine.
Some substances found in e-cigarette vapor have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Teens who vape are more likely to begin smoking cigarettes.
Explosions and burns have been reported with e-cigarettes while recharging the devices, due to defective batteries.
Accidental exposure to liquid from e-cigarettes has caused acute nicotine poisoning in children and adults.
Vaping during pregnancy could harm a developing fetus.