Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vaporizers, are battery-powered devices that produce similar effects to smoking tobacco. Although the health risks and benefits are controversial, the popularity of these nicotine vapor devices has increased in the past few years, specifically within the youth population.
The amount of teenagers who admitted to using e-cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014. In just one year’s time, the statistic for high schoolers who smoked e-cigarettes rose from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent, and for middle schoolers, it rose from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent.
The report illustrates that “current e-cigarette use has surpassed current use of every other tobacco product overall, including conventional cigarettes.”
In addition to the fact that e-cigarettes are marketed to assist with quitting conventional cigarettes, they can be smoked inside public places. They are increasingly getting trendier, with the liquid nicotine juice being offered in fun flavors like Pina Colada, Banana Split and Nestlé’s Nerds rock candy. Due to modern technology and taste, the study confirms that as their popularity rises, e-cigarettes are more appealing to young people.
As the demand for these devices continues to grow, health professionals are becoming concerned that people of all ages have forgotten the dangers of nicotine. Although many of the harmful chemicals of conventional cigarettes are eliminated, e-cigarettes could be a starting point for traditional tobacco use and cause health issues that have yet to be discovered.
“Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use,” said Center for Disease Control director Tom Frieden in an article on Discovery.
The devices are largely unregulated, and the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes have not yet emerged. The CDC asserts the importance of adolescence in brain development, and urges young people not to use nicotine at all. E-cigarettes could harm the brain and lead to traditional cigarette use, addiction and premature death, and ultimately should be avoided by all.
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