Plumes of smoke: The vape debate

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Plumes of smoke: The vape debate

Leila Faler, Assistant Editor

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A new fad has arrived. Just like smoking cigarettes, young adults have swarmed to a popular trend known as vaping. It is usually inhaled from an electronic cigarette, sometimes called a “mod.” People of all ages, adolescents primarily, are lured by the taste of sweet-scented, not so child-friendly, brightly colored mod juice, which is flavored liquid that is heated in the e-cigarette device and inhaled by the user.

 

What vapers still don’t know are the long-term effects that may be present in the future. Take cigarettes, for example. Back in 1881, people believed smoking was harmless, however, they are now known for their cancer-causing properties. According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. That is one in every five deaths.

 

In a report by the Washington Post on vaping, they state that “E-cigarette users were found to exhibit physiological effects not present in the nonusers, such as abnormalities in cardiovascular function that included higher oxidative stress levels and levels of adrenaline in the heart, an effect known as an increased cardiac sympathetic activity.” Additionally, scientific studies have found evidence that e-cigarettes can have a substantial effect on blood vessels and may increase the risk of heart attack. In addition, nicotine is found in e-cigarettes, making it one of the most addictive legal substances available.

 

Dr. Brent Fuller from Beaumont internal medicine/pediatrician physician states, “The long-term effect of nicotine is a higher risk for addiction and a negative impact on brain development, specifically, your working memory and attention span. So, high schoolers who smoke e-cigarettes could be risking their grades and, potentially, their future careers, because they can’t pay attention in school.” He continues by saying “ One of the chemicals in e-cigarettes is diacetyl, which can affect lung capacity and eventually lead to a disease called popcorn lung. According to Medical News Today, “Popcorn lung is a rare condition that causes airway scarring due to inflammation and eventually lung damage.”

 

According to a survey done by the National Youth Tobacco Organization, “Over the past year, the number of high school students who have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days has skyrocketed by about 75 percent”. What started off a small secluded and not so popular attraction has fledged into a widespread plague. Vaping has taken over schools and dominated the minds of many children nationwide. CNN did a special report on vaping and says that  one in five eighth-graders currently use tobacco products, and began using these products via e-cigarettes. Many adults have come to the conclusion that children are convinced that just because these nicotine devices are brightly colored and smell sweet, they are harmless. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Vaping has already shown significant negative and dangerous signs that lead to addiction and harm to the body. Vaping increases risk of heart attack, cardiac sympathetic activity, addiction, popcorn lung, attention span problems and decreased lung capacity. Long-term effects are not yet known due to the lack of information from the new fad, however, these signs point toward negative effects in the future.                

 

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