Lethal Combination: Teens & E-Cigarettes

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald November 10, 05:30 am

E- cigarettes -- they may look and smell like the real thing, but they are not. The feeling of inhaling and puffing out smoke may be the same. However, E-cigarettes use vapor from a liquid containing propylene glycol and flavoring chemicals. When inhaled, it may pose similar respiratory health risks with that of tobacco.

The process of inhaling the liquid from e-cigarette is called "vaping".

This billion dollar industry is advertised as a means to quit smoking among adults and teens. Research published in the journal of "JAMA Pediatrics" indicated the prevalence of e-cigarette use among adults rose from 3.3 percent in 2010 to 6.2 percent in 2011. While there are studies linking adults and e-cigarette addiction, statistics reveal that teens are more likely to acquire respiratory problems from vaping.

Growing Number of Teens Vaping

According to the journal of JAMA Pediatrics, "Among 694 youth who were not susceptible to cigarette use, after 1 year, 68.8% of e-cigarette users and only 18.9% of those who had not smoked e-cigarettes had smoked a traditional combustible cigarette".

In 2014, an alarming number of e-cigarette use among teens rose from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent. The number tripled among middle school aged users, according to National Youth Tobacco Survey.

Health Risks

In an attempt to regulate e-cigarette use, the World Health Organization issued guidelines in its promotion advertising and indoor use. The guidelines also encouraged regulation of e-cigarette use among teens because of the potential health risks it brings.

According to Youth Health, studies have related temporary respiratory problems and smoking among adults; its effect on teens are similar. Vaping teens aged 15, on average, were 30 percent more likely to report having respiratory problems compared to teens that used traditional cigarettes. The U.S Food and Drug Administrations, in one of its publications, indicated the potential health risks reported by e-cigarette users. These are:

  •  pneumonia,
  •  congestive heart failure,
  •  disorientation,
  •  seizure,
  •  hypotension, and
  •  other health problems.

Manufacturers claim that e-cigarettes help in smoking cessation and are more likely to reduce harm than traditional smoking. However, research suggests these claims have no basis. Instead, vaping poses more health risks, especially in teens since they are also exposed to nicotine.

Nicotine in cigarettes is considered a carcinogen, along with formaldehyde, acetylene and other toxins. When exposed to these particulates, it becomes deadly. Just imagine, teens inhaling these chemicals and what it could do to their bodies.

While there are studies that neither confirm nor deny harmful effects of e-cigarette on Teens Health, the WHO took its initial steps in regulating the use and advertising of e-cigarettes.

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