In light of the 37 recent deaths and 1,479 cases of mysterious lung disease linked to vaping, with parents desperate for a solution, it is of utmost importance to examine the impact of e-cigarettes on the bodies of young people.

various types of e-cigarettes

Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of vaporized liquid juice containing nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals. Although initially invented to reduce and stop smoking, teenagers have vastly misused these e-cigarettes in recent years. At the start of 2019, approximately 42.5 percent of 12th graders reported having vaped before in their lifetimes; and according to the CDC, vaping is far more popular among teenagers than traditional cigarettes. Many people who would have never smoked in their lives are now taking up vaping—clear evidence that this invention is detrimental rather than beneficial as intended for many of its users. While better than cigarettes in their lack of physical smoke, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine as a highly addictive primary agent, and many teenagers are left unaware of this. In fact, one Juul pod has as much nicotine as twenty cigarettes. Particularly dangerous, nicotine has been known to spike adrenaline levels, increase blood pressure, and increase heart rate, which subsequently leads to higher likelihoods of heart attack. Vaping also exposes users to a number of harmful chemicals that can cause several different lung diseases including lung cancer. Because vaping is such a new development, however, there are many unknowns about its long-term effects on the human body.

Photo by Lindsay Fox.

In response, President Trump and his administration are planning to completely ban all flavors of vaping products other than menthol and tobacco in an effort to combat this epidemic among adolescents. While there are critics who are doubtful of how effective this course of action may be, we can only hope that it is successful for the sake of our kids.

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Sophia Xiang

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