Get the Facts: Vaping
Why be a guinea pig? Vape liquid isn’t water. It’s an addictive, toxic combination of industrial chemicals and artificial additives.
Additives in vape fluid
While scientists are working to better understand the dangers of vaping, we already know that there are harmful substances found in e-liquid or “juice,” and even more are created when the liquid – which is NOT water vapor – is heated and inhaled.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, these are some of the dangerous compounds found in e-cigarettes that can all cause damage to the lungs:
- Diacetyl: a food additive known to damage passageways in the lungs.
- Formaldehyde: a toxic chemical linked to both lung and heart diseases, and also used to preserve dead bodies during the embalming process.
- Acrolein: a chemical that can damage lungs, most commonly used to kill unwanted weeds in your yard.
- Heavy metals: nickel, tin, and lead can cause poisoning and create lasting impacts as they accumulate in the body.
Dangers of Vaping
The effects of vaping can vary depending on the contents of the vape juice or e-liquid.
With vapes that contain nicotine, users may experience:
- Buzzed feeling and higher heart rate.
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Headache with dizziness.
- Coughing and lung discomfort.
The long-term effects of vaping are not yet fully understood, but nicotine is highly addictive and can negatively impact brain development in adolescents.
Vaping can trigger respiratory failure. Hospitals have seen cases of lung collapse, and damage that resembles chemical burns.
What it looks like
For many teens, cigarette smoking has been replaced by electronic cigarettes or vaping.
The fact is, vaping is not safe. Every time you vape, you risk serious impacts to your health.
Vape pens and e-cigarettes come in various shapes and sizes. Some look like regular cigarettes, while others are discreet. The vape juice or e-liquid comes in small bottles or cartridges and can be found in many different flavors.
What You Need to Know
It’s not just the lungs. We are also learning more every day about how vaping affects other parts of the body:
- E-cigarettes devices themselves are dangerous and have been associated with burns and explosions.
- Vaping decreases the oxygen supply to your face and skin, potentially leading to wrinkles, splotches, dark spots, and sagging skin.
- The aerosol from vaping damages your teeth and mouth, leading to more bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases.
- Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs. Using nicotine while you are young makes it much harder to quit later in life and harms the development of your brain.
- The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
There aren’t specific street names for vaping, but people might refer to it as “vaping,” “using a vape pen,” or “hitting a Juul” (a popular brand of e-cigarettes).