In recent years, vaping has become a pervasive issue for youth across the country. Vaping devices heat a liquid (often containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals) to produce a vapor that is inhaled. Though the vapor is often incorrectly perceived as "less harmful" than cigarette smoke, it actually contains an array of harmful chemicals, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and carcinogens. One of the primary concerns about vaping is the potential for lung damage.
Studies have shown that vaping can cause lasting damage to the lungs, including significant inflammation and decreased lung function. In some cases, vaping can lead to a condition called E-cigarette Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI), which can cause severe lung damage and can even lead to death. There are concerns about the impact of vaping on cardiovascular health, in addition to lung damage. Nicotine, which is found in most vaping liquids, has been linked to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. There is also evidence that vaping raises the risk of blood clots and reduces the body's ability to repair damaged blood vessels. Such effects put a person at higher risk of death and compromised immune function.
Another worry about the long-term effects of vaping is the reality of addiction. Many vaping liquids contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and studies have shown that vaping can lead to nicotine addiction. Nicotine addiction can have a number of negative health consequences, such as an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Nicotine is reported to be the second most difficult drug to quit, second only to heroin. Thus, the risk of addiction is considerable, and overcoming addiction can be an incredibly difficult - sometimes seemingly impossible - to push through.
While vaping is frequently marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, there is growing concern about the long-term health effects of vaping. Vaping, among other things, can cause lung damage, cardiovascular problems, and nicotine addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with nicotine addiction, it is critical to consider the potential risks of vaping and to seek help.