Vaping: safer than cigarettes? Studies show increase in vape users and the negative outcomes

Category:  Opinions
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Vaping: safer than cigarettes? Studies show increase in vape users and the negative outcomes by Madison Streich
Photo: Ana B. Ibarra/KHN/TNS

Vaping has become one of the biggest epidemics in the U.S. and is continuing to spiral out of control. Vaping had originally entered the spotlight to help smokers quit smoking, but is it actually the safe alternative that’s been pitched?

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that in 2011 there were about 7 million people who vaped, but by 2018 that number had increased to 41 million.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s website, vaping is still safer than smoking a traditional cigarette. A cigarette has roughly 7,000 harmful chemicals, while a vape has about 80 different chemicals.

But this doesn’t mean that vaping isn’t bad for your health. While these products don’t have the cancer-causing tar that cigarettes have, there are other negative components. Nicotine is in both the traditional cigarette and, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “these products use an ‘e-liquid’ that may contain nicotine.” Nicotine is an addictive chemical which can lead to other serious problems if you keep inhaling it.

“Nicotine can cause high blood pressure and spike anxiety levels. It can make you feel like you are having a heart attack,” Johns Hopkins Medicine reported.

Electronic cigarettes are also detrimental to your health and can lead to death. Growing up, we heard the stories about our grandparents, their friends, and even our parents and their friends getting lung cancer from smoking. They tell us these stories with drastic pauses, resulting from the smoker’s cough.

According to CNN, six people have died from vaping related lung issues, in comparison to the 450 cases of lung illnesses that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported on this year. But Dr. Michael Blaha, a researcher from Johns Hopkins, stated that vaping products are so addictive, they can be compared to heroin and cocaine, while teens are a part of the addicted population.

Also from Johns Hopkins Medicine: “In 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General (Vivek Murthy) reported the e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900 percent.”

You can buy high voltage vapes and extra strong cartridges once you turn 18, and it’s young adults that are convinced that vaping is the healthier option, with different flavored vape juices as the main attraction.

Recently, President Donald Trump has been trying to ban non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors, due to the most recent deaths in the U.S. Trump and his administration are trying to ban flavored e-juices because of the recent outbreak of lung illnesses. Trump is working with the FDA.

Vaping doesn’t only affect high school students, though. Edinboro University is a campus which offers areas for people to both vape and smoke. Students can be found outside buildings like Compton Hall and Loveland Hall taking a quick smoke break, or even while walking on campus you can, and likely will, see someone either vaping or smoking.

I think that because of the harmful side effects, and the new addition to the marketplace (vaping), Edinboro should motion to make this officially a smoke-free campus. If we continue to allow smokers and vapers on campus, we continue to allow those who don’t participate in smoking or vaping to be exposed to second-hand smoke, as well as encourage and allow for an environment for people to harm themselves in.

People who would have never smoked before are starting to vape, and that is alarming. Some are starting because of their previous relationship with cigarettes, that of which we know is bad. People need to do their research before picking up or purchasing an e-cigarette or vape.

Tags: vaping

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