Vaping has been on the rise in recent years due to its flavor and convenience. Initially, vaping was thought to be less harmful than cigarettes, but now, it may be under fire as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking closely at the different flavored nicotine juices and other substances users may be vaping in e-cigarettes to determine how the aerosol might be affecting users’ lungs.
On September 4, the Trump administration said that it would ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, as many people have been diagnosed with mysterious lung disease.
As of September 11, there have been 380 confirmed and probable cases of lung illness reported from 36 states and 1 U.S. territory. Six deaths have been reported from six states, and all reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
A recent social media poll targeted towards VSU students asked “Do you vape, Juul, etc.?” with simple yes or no answers. Looking at the poll, which 150 VSU students participated in, it appears that roughly 1 in every 20 students on campus have a Juul, vape or another type of e-cigarette.
The results raise the question whether students are aware of what is really in these e-cigarettes and what the long-term deficits are. How many know that one single Juul pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes?
After talking to some students about e-cigarettes, many have come to terms that they are on the verge of becoming addicted to the nicotine. Many have also stated that they can get winded after “hitting” the Juul too much. But students still choose e-cigarettes over standard tobacco due to the better smell and the belief that they’re healthier.
When asking a student why he or she stopped using e-cigarettes, the answer came down to two main reasons: money and willpower.
On the money side, the student said that it is cheaper to buy a pack of cigarettes that will last almost a week and a half rather than a pack of Juul pods, which would last four days.
On the willpower side, it came down to the student wondering the reason for smoking. After realizing the reason for smoking the Juul was just because it was accessible and easy, the student realized what a powerful impact it was making in everyday life.
The CDC has some answers as to what exactly is in aerosol, otherwise known as the vapor and main component that e-cigarette smokers are inhaling.
According to the CDC, “E-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless ‘water vapor.’ The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including: Nicotine; Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; Volatile organic compounds; Cancer-causing chemicals; Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.”
While officials are still not aware of the long-term deficits from smoking these products, the CDC and FDA have confirmed that if people continue to use these products willingly, there will be irreparable damage to their lungs.
Written by Amelia Sellars, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of Frickr and blacknote.com.