Smoking is still the number one preventable cause of death in America, killing nearly 500,000 people annually. For that reason, the FDA originally made a push for vaporizing and e-cigarette use, as the harm was linked more to the burning of tobacco than it was to ingesting nicotine. Since then we have experienced what the FDA calls an ‘epidemic’ of young people using e-cigarettes. So why is the FDA using words like ‘epidemic’ and making this sound like a bad thing now?
- Their Popularity is Skyrocketing
Over the last year, we have seen an increase of almost 80% in e-cigarette use amongst young people. This increase is much bigger in proportion to use amongst the adult population, suggesting that e-cigarette’s are appealing to young people specifically. With some people claiming the nicotine industry is targeting kids with specific flavors, this is a worrying trend. These flavors tend to reflect fruits, sweets and other yummy treats, making them very appealing to young people who are more impulsive than adults and who also don’t totally understand the long-term effects of nicotine.
Another point is that vaping is a lot easier to hide than smoking, so it’s easier for these youngsters to be covert with their nicotine habits. There’s no real odor left on clothing or the breath as long as the vape isn’t used in/around the home. At school, children can even get away with vaping inside the building if they aren’t spotted. It’s simple enough to claim it wasn’t them when there are hundreds of other people around. All of this could create a generation of undercover nicotine addicts.
- Young Brains are a Lot More Vulnerable to Negative Effects from Nicotine
Younger brains are affected by nicotine a lot more than adult brains, possibly in permanent ways. It’s believed that nicotine abuse during younger years leaves the brain more vulnerable to the reward-seeking behavior which drugs in general create. This brain would be more likely to try other drugs, and more wired for addiction. This is particularly true for stimulants, such as meth and cocaine. Likewise, there are no positive effects caused by nicotine use during youth.
- E-Cigarette’s Were Designed as a Step Towards Quitting Nicotine
As was mentioned earlier, e-cigarettes were originally created and marketed as a step towards quitting smoking. The government also supported for this reason, as a smoke-free and tobacco-free society would be a lot healthier than one that smokes tobacco en masse. That doesn’t mean that a society of vapers is good though, it was supposed to be a step along the way to becoming smoke-free. A society full of nicotine addicts is not what we wanted or needed, and we need to remember that when it comes to vaping. Being less risky than smoking tobacco is not the same thing as being risk-free. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why a young person who doesn’t even have a tobacco or nicotine habit should see no gain from taking up an e-cigarette habit.