The dangers of vapes, Juuls, and all the rest

Ben Ortega, Editor

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(Photo via sciencenews.org)

Juuls, Suorins, E-Cigarettes, and many other vaping devices are very popular today in America. Initially created as a nicotine alternative to cigarettes, which have been proven to be extremely harmful to the human body, they have now become more of a recreational and leisure pastime.

Instead of utilizing vaping mechanisms to slowly quit smoking and avoid the harmful effects of tobacco, they have been ever-increasing in popularity amongst young adults and teenagers as a fun thing to do recreationally with no real need for it. Although drug, tobacco, and alcohol consumption by teens has been steadily decreasing in the last decades, vape use has only been increasing since its modern invention in the mid-2000’s.

A government-backed annual survey called Monitoring the Future gathered information from 43,000 8th, 10th, and 12th grades and said, “Nearly 1 in 3 high school seniors (28%) said they used some kind of vaping device in the past year. And when asked what they were vaping, 52 percent said ‘just flavorings,’ 33 %said ‘nicotine’ and 11 %said ‘marijuana’ or ‘hash oil.’”

Now, taking into consideration how vapes were not extremely popular until recently, we do not know much about their medical effects on the human body, but many studies and examinations have been conducted with a majority of them concluding that E-Cigarettes and vapes are not as harmful as many think.

“More research is needed to see whether e-cigarette users are being exposed to these chemicals when they inhale — and what the long-term effects of those exposures might be,” said Irfan Rahman, a toxicologist at the University of Rochester in New York.

The sugars, chemicals, artificial substances, and sometimes nicotine in vape juice (the liquid used in vapes that is turned into vapor by the battery) are currently being studied and examined by many health organizations and institutions. The results of a lot of these studies might shock some people. The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) study on the subject had multiple outcomes. They concluded that vape users are more than three times as likely to use tobacco products within six months of beginning to use vaporizers, leading to strong negative effects from tobacco smoke.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discovered that vape liquids contain harmful heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead, some of which are even thought to cause cancer, and they also contain diacetyl and other artificial flavorants, which are linked to serious lung diseases. Not to mention the nicotine in the ones with nicotine, which could end up becoming addicting if there is enough frequent use. Addiction to anything is known to have harmful effects on the developing teenage brain.

“The fact that vaping can deliver benzene levels many times higher than those found in the ambient [air] — where it’s already recognized as a cancer risk — should be of concern to anyone using e-cigarettes,” said chemist, James Pankow, from the Portland State University in Oregon.

In 2016, 25 case studies stated that exposure to the chemicals in electronic cigarettes can lead to respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disease, heart disease, and nicotine poisoning.

The heat from the battery can also cause oral and esophageal cancer. On top of all this, some electronic cigarette brands have been known to explode while being utilized, leading to horrific burns and injuries sustained by the user.

At the end of the day, more and more studies are deducing that vaping is not as harmless as it seems, and some go as far as to say that they are not that much more harmless than actual, combustible cigarettes. Unfortunately, we might eventually see the long-term impacts of electronic cigarettes in our generations deteriorating health.