The elusive vape. A recent trend, despite being around for years, and a sold as an alternative to the ever infamous cigarette that has been part of pop culture and death of millions. Shops have been popping up in the Lakewood area over the past year and a half, but there is still the question—is it safe? Or at least safer than cigarettes?
For years vape was seen as the healthy alternative to tobacco, it becomes a way to help quit even. Though as the culture becomes bigger—an aesthetic almost. With its lack of regulation, the product has more leeway than tobacco companies. It wasn’t until recently that the Food and Drug Association requited testing and regulation on vaping, to test the risks of the chemicals put into the liquids.
Vape companies are still able to release commercial ads. Some ads even use same tactics tobacco companies used to hook in a younger audience—the use of sex and selling it as a social activity. In fact, the center of Disease Control reported that 10% of teenagers were vape users. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found vaping in teenagers as a gateway to starting to smoke, turning a generation back onto a habit that has had billions of dollars of resources utilized to keep them from adopting the deadly habit.
The question of are they safer than cigarettes—yes. There is no tar in what is inhaled and there is no way to cause second-hand smoke as there is no smoking in vapes. But safer is not safe. Though in a survey conducted by National Center of Biotechnology Information, nineteen thousand users being surveyed, 11% of those surveyed thought vaping was a completely harmless practice. A horrifying realization to health professionals.
The concoctions still contain the addictive chemical of nicotine, what keeps smokers smoking. The chemical is likely how smokers can curb their dependency on cigarettes, as they are still getting their fix.
But there are still health risks. The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study, testing habitual vape users and the effects it has on one’s heart long-term. Half the individuals they had within their group, possessed a condition called oxidative stress, translating that there is a problem in the cardiovascular system and its ability to pump oxidized blood into the body. A condition the same as a smoker of actual cigarettes.
Vaping is an in the dark produce similar to the cigarette was in the early to mid-twentieth century. The risks and dangers are being slowly realized, but the ignorance can translate into another decade-long fight that has organization after organization paranoid of how it translates for today’s young adults.