Misconceptions About Teen Vaping
If you or a loved one is experimenting with vaping, thinking that it won't become addictive, you should be better informed about this choice. The growing trend of teen vaping makes it even more concerning. Because vaping devices are becoming more common, young people are experimenting with this supposedly non-addictive recreational device. This is a phenomenon known as "teen vaping."
"Vaping" refers to the inhaling of vapor through using either electronic cigarettes or other non-tobacco, battery-powered devices. Many people think that vaping is a healthier option than smoking cigarettes or tobacco. However, there are many myths that need to be dispelled.
Myths About Vaping
The visual aspect of vaping may not appear alarming to people. Teenagers and young adults are seen using objects that look like a USB flash drive or a clunky pen. Vaping devices can also come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. However, the commercial popularity of vaping products has not been matched with adequate regulation. For example, vaping products have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). People tend to believe that since there is no tobacco involved, e-cigarettes are not harmful to your health. However, this is far from the truth.
There are other myths about vaping that downplay the risks:
Myth 1: "Vaping Is Safe."
Knowing that regular tobacco cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, many people think that e-cigarettes with fewer toxic chemicals are less harmful. However, this does not mean that vaping is entirely safe. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 60 deaths among people who used vaping products and experienced lung injury. The CDC also discourages people from using vaping products that contain THC.
Myth 2: "Vaping Isn't Addictive."
Some people think that since e-cigarettes were designed to help smokers quit smoking, they cannot possibly be addictive. However, as long as these products contain nicotine, they may be as addictive as other substances. Some experts even warn people that because e-cigarette users have access to high-potency cartridges with higher nicotine levels, vaping can produce more nicotine than traditional tobacco products.
Because smoking nicotine is strongly associated with diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular dysfunction, vaping can harm the body's critical organs. As a kind of addiction, vaping also produces similar mental health disorders and withdrawal symptoms to other substances, such as alcohol and drugs. Due to the vulnerable developmental stage of their brain, teenagers and young people should avoid any of these unhealthy substances.
Vaping Is Not Safe for Teens
Some e-cigarette manufacturers position their products as healthy alternatives for smokers to wean off their nicotine addiction. Some people think that vaping only means that you are smoking water vapor; however, vaping still contains nicotine. The aerosol is not made up of water but chemicals. Regular use of e-cigarettes may not only lead to nicotine addiction but also other side effects, such as dehydration, nosebleeds, and dry eyes.
Teens and young people may be attracted by fruit-flavored e-cigarettes that do not smell like tobacco. They understand the harm of tobacco use but are ignorant of the effects of harmful chemicals even when they are fruit-flavored. Most e-liquids on the market for vaping have nicotine in them. Take the most popular vaping device, Juul, for example. Some Juul products have the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
Education Is Key to Stop This New Addiction Problem
Research and factual evidence about the harmful effects of cigarettes began surfacing decades ago. Since then, teen use of tobacco products has steadily declined. However, vaping is a new phenomenon that has just become popular, and such studies of certain new products have yet to come out. Yet, if there is nicotine in the chemicals of a vaping product, then the chance of addiction is highly possible. Nicotine addiction is known to cause many health problems, including slowing brain development in teens, causing lung damage, affecting memory and emotional regulation, and increasing the risk of other types of addictions later in life.
Education is always the key to prevention and early intervention. Effective prevention strategies involve parents, school teachers, and community members. Among teens who develop an addiction to vaping, it is important to work with professional interventionists who know about these products and their effects on the body and the mind. Intervention and treatment strategies that target other forms of addictions can also be applied to vaping addiction. These include therapy, counseling, 12-Step support groups, mindfulness, and meditation techniques.
Scientific research has shown that vaping is very addictive and can impact young people in many negative ways. Early intervention is always the key. The sooner one quits, the quicker one’s body and mind can return to normal. At South Florida Intervention, we have professionally trained interventionists to work with all kinds of addictions, including alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. If you are a parent who is concerned about teen vaping, our recovery coaches can also help you understand more about what it takes to approach your child about this problem. Over the years, we have helped many families to support their loved ones toward recovery from these different forms of addiction. With South Florida Intervention, you will benefit from a range of services we offer, including recovering coaching, parent coaching, sober escort, and detailed case management. We can also connect you with trusted health professionals who have plenty of experience in maintaining long-term sobriety. Call us at (202) 390-2273 today.