Many people are confused about the effects of e-cigarettes. On the one hand, some claim that vaping is a better form of smoking traditional cigarettes. On the other hand, many believe both forms are equally as harmful. Because electronic cigarettes are so new, there is not enough data collected that helps us determine concrete evidence of the long-term effects of vaping. What we believe is that the repercussions of this unhealthy habit are being underestimated.
Even though the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18 is illegal under federal law and illegal for those under 21 in California, this growing trend is impacting the lives of teens all across the country. As a parent, you want your growing child to form habits that will provide them with a long and healthy life. Therefore it is important to understand what vaping can do to your health.
Here’s what you need to know about vaping:
Regular Cigarettes vs. E-Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking is a uniquely dangerous addiction. In fact, this might be the only consumer product that kills when used as directed. According to Harvard Health, cigarettes are the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing 480,000 people every year. Smoking increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, COPD, asthma, diabetes, and most cancers.
Many cigarette smokers turn to e-cigs as a healthier alternative. The liquid inside e-cigarettes is made up of nicotine and flavorings dissolved in propylene glycol and glycerol. It is heated by a battery-powered vaporizer, converting it into a mist which is inhaled, or “vaped.”
The vape cartridges in e-cigarettes are often formulated with attractive flavorings such as blueberry and watermelon that appeal to younger users.
E-cigarettes reduce the stigma of smoking because of its lack of smoke aroma, but nicotine is still the primary agent in both, and it is highly addictive. Nicotine is a toxic substance that causes cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. This type of addiction is notoriously difficult to reverse.
How To Address Your Teens
The best way to help your teens is through education. By explaining the nature of vaping and addiction, they will have a better understanding of the long-term effects it can have on their bodies. The thing that teens crave the most is their independence, and nicotine addictions take that away. Their freedom of choice is at risk when vaping.
Also, it is important to give them the space to ask questions. At South Coast Medical, we understand the concern that parents have with vaping. If you need more information, feel free to come into our office. Any of our physicians or physician assistants would be happy to provide answers for you. We recognize the importance of educating families to help them create healthy lifestyles.
Our commitment to your family’s health, along with our utmost respect for your time and comfort, extends beyond Aliso Viejo. If you are in other cities such as Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, and Mission Viejo, feel free to come into our office any day of the week, no appointment is required.