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.