Vaping is the act of inhaling and then exhaling aerosol or vapor from a liquid that contains nicotine or other drugs, like THC. The vapor is produced by an e-cigarette or other device, like a vape pen or Juul. Juul and other e-cigarette companies have come under fire for deceptive advertising targeting their products to youth, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declaring teen vaping an “epidemic” Sept. 12.
Smoking vs. Vaping
Originally marketed as a tobacco-free smoking cessation method, vaping has become increasingly popular, especially teen vaping among high school students. Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes don’t smell like tobacco or marijuana and are easily disguised. Since they are easier to use without detection, people tend to vape more frequently than they would smoke cigarettes.
What is Juul?
Juul is an e-cigarette company that’s been marketed as an alternative to smoking, e-cigarette and vaping. However, Juuls are vapes and e-cigarettes. In fact, Juul pods contain an even stronger potency of nicotine than traditional vape devices.
Juul devices are also easily concealable. Their appearance is often compared to a USB drive, and they can easily fit into a small pocket.
While it appears e-cigs like Juul are less harmful than cigarettes, they are exposing kids and teens to nicotine – one of the most addictive drugs – earlier with colorful customization options and flavors like mango and mint and breakfast cereal and rocket popsicle.
These flavors have appealed to many young people and non-smokers. As a result, people who may not have started smoking have become dependent on nicotine.
What are the Side Effects of Vaping?
There is insufficient evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes help smokers quit. The chemicals used in vaping can also contain cancer-causing compounds and harmful particles. This can lead to irreversible damages to health.
Vaping can be dangerous for more than just those using. Some research shows indoor air quality decreases with the increased concentration of nicotine and other compounds that have been linked to lung and cardiovascular disease and cancer among other health effects. To learn how we can help, call Gateway Foundation today at 877.505.4673.
Rachel Obafemi, LCPC, MISA, CADC, has been a member of the Gateway Foundation Lake Villa treatment team since 2011. She currently serves as program director for the Men’s and Women’s Programs. She has worked in the field of mental health and substance use for over 20 years, fueled by her passion to equip professionals with the skills needed to be successful in their work with patients. Rachel is an advocate of bridging the gaps between mental health, substance use and physical health.