“It’s healthier than cigarettes,” is a line you’ve no doubt heard before. How true is this, though?
The first vapes hit the market in the early 2010s, marketed on TV as a healthier alternative to smoking. At that time, it was pure water that was vaporized, to give the effect of smoking. However, there were no chemicals in these early models.
They were like brick cell phones in the 1980s compared to what came just a few years after. Vapes were getting smaller and came with fluid containing nicotine. What was put in the vapes changed, but the rhetoric didn’t.
Many people today still champion vaping and Juul as healthier. Because of this, more people are likely to buy vapes. Just as well, they appeal to kids, with their often fruity flavors and candy-like packaging.
The sustained popularity of vapes comes down to a few factors. First, it’s convenient to vape indoors, whereas smoking requires you to go outside. People who vape tend to hit it subconsciously, and would vape more nicotine than is in a cigarette.
According to The Truth Initiative, one Juul pod has as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes. I know several people who, when Juul had more flavors, went through several pods a day. They also went on to state:
“Results from a April 2018 Truth Initiative® study published in Tobacco Control show that nearly two-thirds — 63 percent — of JUUL users between 15 and 24 years old did not know that the product always contains nicotine.”
Cigarette usage is much easier to track, as it’s usually rationed in about 20 per pack. Juul and more trendy vapes don’t show how much juice is there on the surface. The Puff Bar has recently been a competitor to Juul, looking like them, but disposable and colorful.
No matter the method, the results showed are the same.
Long term effects
For a long time, no one quite knew what the long term effects of vaping were. It hadn’t been around for long enough to see, even with heavy usage. Now, nearly a decade later, they’re starting to reveal themselves.
According to NPR, independent researchers have found that those who only vape are at a 30% increased chance of lung diseases. With 52 confirmed deaths and 2,400 hospitalizations due to vaping, the rapture has come. The study goes on to note:
“…it’s not just the nicotine — there are other ingredients, including propylene glycol, glycerin and flavoring compounds that may lead to harmful effects when heated and inhaled.”
With about one in four high school seniors vaping, their addictions and problems will start early. Just as well, since vapes tend to come in bright packaging, it appeals to kids. These chemicals, most of which we don’t know, are going into the lungs of kids.
The American Lung Association found that vaping was responsible for causing bronchiolitis, or “popcorn lung.”
Even though we know that diacetyl causes popcorn lung, this chemical is found in many e-cigarette flavors https://t.co/w3G3WJQMdM
— lungassociation (@LungAssociation) July 8, 2016
Why, then, is it still allowed?
The FDA was supposed to require all vape companies to submit their products and ingredients for inspection. It was announced in 2017 that the FDA would delay this until 2022.
In the time of this delay, people have been confirmed to have died due to vaping. While it wasn’t seen as a big deal for a long time, the effects merely hadn’t shown. As a response, Juul stopped selling flavored pods.
This only gave rise to counterfeit pods, Puff Bars, and other imitators who are just as bad. A friend of mine recently had her lung collapse due to vaping, as she had quit smoking. She did it till it sent her to the hospital.
Stay safe, friends.