Get the facts about electronic cigarettes, their health effects and the risks of using e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are sometimes called “e-cigs,” “vapes,” “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).” Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some look like USB flash drives, pens, and other everyday items.
E-cigarettes are still fairly new, and scientists are still learning about their long-term health effects. Here is what we know now.
- Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which has known health effects.1
- Nicotine is highly addictive.
- Nicotine is toxic to developing fetuses.
- Nicotine can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
- Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and their developing babies.
Learn about the risks of E-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults.
E- Cigarette Addiction in Teens and Pre-Teens
Recently, the use of e-cigarettes among children and young adults has increased at an alarming rate, which is a cause of concern for many parents. Aggressive advertising targeting kids and teens is a major factor behind the alarming increase in e-cigarette use. E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-powered vaporizers that are generally misconceived as a safer and less detrimental alternative to conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are made to mimic cigarettes with nicotine, the addictive agent, still present.
This nicotine is mixed with glycerin to form a liquid that vaporizes when heated. E-cigarettes come in small packages that are easily portable and readily available. Following are some of the outcomes of e-cigarette abuse:
- Severe addiction to the extent of heavy physical and psychological reliance
- Arrhythmia: Abnormal heart rate resulting from high-blood pressure due to excessive nicotine consumption
- Extremely large doses of nicotine can lead to death
- Depression, fits of anger and irritability
- Disruption in blood flow, ulcers, asthma attacks and other lung and heart diseases
- Accidental intake of the nicotine-bearing liquid may be poisonous
A study published in 2015 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed that harmful chemicals used for flavoring e-cigarettes were associated with bronchiolitis obliterans or "popcorn lung". Flavored e-cigarettes are popular among kids. Consequently, another study found that one in every six high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past one month, whereas one in every four youths in middle and high school had tried e-cigarettes at least once.
As parents, it is our responsibility to talk to our children and warn them about the deadly effects that the seemingly harmless e-cigarettes can cause. Communicating openly with the kids and listening to them can protect them from destroying their lungs and potentially prevent them from getting cancer.