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 Written By Michelle Duret 

How many times have we heard this statement, “It’s just water and flavorings like mango, cotton candy, or unicorn milk”? Or, “this is safe and won’t harm me.”

Let’s discuss the real consequences of vaping. First, a little bit of history. Smoking has contributed to health issues dating back over 200 years. Early studies in 1920 linked smoking to cancer and other life-threatening conditions.  Over the years many attempts, devices, and models were created but, e-cigarettes were not created until 2003. They were created by a Chinese pharmacist who wanted a device to help him kick his own habit. Yes, e-cigarettes were created and marketed for smoking cessation. E-cigarettes were first advertised for current smokers, people who wanted to quit their nicotine addiction but they started to become popular with another crowd.

The design of e-cigarettes allows them to be hidden in plain sight which has made them very popular with teenagers. They can come in pen form, USB flash drives, and pipes. The scents are undetectable, discreet, and the flavors are so enticing that kids as young as middle school want to try them. Vaping companies advertise around the clock on social media sites such as Instagram and they use influencers and celebrities to market their products.

Marketers caught on to the popularity and began making fruity flavors, adding customizable features, and even allowing the use of substances such as CBD and THC oil. Because they are newer to the market, vapes are not FDA approved which allows manufacturers to add whatever chemicals that they want. An “e-juice” pod can contain up to 7,000 chemicals. Manufacturers have the world duped thinking that their products only contain water vapor but, they have been tested and shown to contain heavy metals (such as nickel, tin, and lead), liquid nicotine, and ultrafine particles.

Vaping has also been said to be safer than cigarettes when, in fact, vaping contains some of the same cancer-causing chemicals. Vaping contains nicotine, a highly addictive chemical that can lead to dependency. There are several health risks associated with vaping that companies do not want you to know about. Vaping has been linked to lung and brain damage (the prefrontal cortex), stiffening of the arteries, and widespread irritation of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.

Making the decision to vape can have other harmful effects such as unintended injuries. Vaping devices consist of 3 main components the battery, atomizer, and the liquid cartridge. The battery in the vaping device must be charged, there have been reported incidents of the batteries exploding, causing fires, severe burns, and poisoning.

In conclusion, there is always going to be a new craze or trend that may seem harmless but actually is quite dangerous. Do the research and know the facts.