The trend of vaping and JUULing is putting teens at risk for serious health complications. Vapes, vaporizers, JUULs, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are electronic nicotine delivery systems often used to replace other habit-forming nicotine delivery vessels, such as cigarettes, which are addictive.

The vape and JUUL devices are battery powered and deliver nicotine through a liquid, which turns into an inhalable aerosol when the device is used. The liquid comes in different flavors, such as mint, cookie, and fruit and appeals to kids and teens. Many people believe the liquid used in vaping just contains water and flavoring, but it actually does contains nicotine. The amount of nicotine in the vaping liquid can contain the same or more than the amount in cigarettes.

An article for Pennsylvania State University states that vaping and JUULing are not safe. “Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and no amount of nicotine is safe. Nicotine is very addictive and can harm children and teens’ developing brains. Using nicotine can cause problems with learning and attention and can lead to addiction.”

Teens and young adolescents are using the devices in schools and sometimes in the classroom. Parents might not be familiar with vaping, what is in the oils, and the vaping apparatuses. A JUUL is an electronic cigarette that looks like a memory stick or thumb drive. Users plug the device into a USB port, which provides a charge for the user to take a hit. Each pod has about 200 puffs, which is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.

The vaping devices are small enough to hide in a person’s hand or pocket and can easily go undetected by parents or school staff. Although the liquid is promoted as being safe, tobacco or nicotine-infused products are harmful to a person’s health.

The liquid used in the vape and JUUL devices can cause scar buildup and permanent damage to the lungs. In addition, a majority of the flavorings contain chemicals that are harmful. Research published in the journal, Frontiers in Physiology, suggests that the flavoring in E-cigarette liquids “induce an inflammatory response, cellular toxicity, and reactive oxygen species production.” Dr. Thivanka Muthumalage said, “Cinnamon, vanilla, and butter flavoring chemicals were the most toxic, but our research showed that mixing flavors of e-liquids caused by far the most toxicity to white blood cells.”

Vaping is habit-forming and addictive. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help today. Addiction is not curable but is treatable. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

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