The Rise of E-cigarettes and the Negative Effects of Teen Vaping
teen vaping
When cigarettes were invented they were all the rage, everyone smoked frequently, and it was often uncommon to know someone who didn’t smoke. Smoking was a harmless social activity, and many people believed that cigarettes had added benefits—like weight loss and (ironically) throat protection against cough and irritation. Many of our grandparents and parents smoked at some point in their life. Everyone smoked because there was no reason not to smoke. It wasn’t until a few decades ago that we realized the severe consequences cigarettes had on our health. While people still smoke cigarettes, a new fad of teen vaping has taken its place for youth in today’s society.
E-cigarettes and “Vaping”
Teenagers who have never smoked cigarettes are now “vaping” with e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-operated inhalers that heat up and vaporize liquid containing flavors and nicotine. The liquids used in vaping range in taste from traditional tobacco and menthol flavors to fruity and sweet combinations.
E-cigarettes are the new cigarette, supposedly eliminating all of the negative consequences that are associated with smoking. An e-cigarette was created to serve as a substitute for traditional tobacco products and lead to declines in tobacco use. A recent study reveals that e-cigarettes have done the opposite, making nicotine consumption at an all-time high since the 1990s.
Teen Vaping Over the Past Decade
A recent study tracked teen vaping and the use of cigarettes among 5,490 California high school seniors who graduated between 1995 and 2014. Teen vaping has not appeared to have made a dent in regular cigarette use – In 2004, the number of high school seniors who reported smoking tobacco in the past 30 days was 9 percent; in 2014 that number was had only decreased to 8 percent.
While cigarette consumption in teens hasn’t changed much, teen vaping and nicotine use was noted to be drastically increasing due to e-cigarettes. Researchers state that they have not seen similar levels of nicotine use in teens since 1995, when 12th-grade smoking rates were at 19 percent. While this study was focused on California teens, researchers state that the numbers are consistent with national trends.
Repeating History?
Teen vaping is the new fad—similar to how cigarettes were, there’s no known risks or consequences associated with using an e-cigarette—making teens quick to start in the trend of teen vaping. Dr. Winickoff states:
“We had a trend of decreasing nicotine use, what the e-cigarette has done is halted that decrease in its tracks…We don’t want a fifth of our high school students graduating with nicotine addiction.”
While e-cigarettes and teen vaping seem to be safer than smoking tobacco, they aren’t risk free. Similar to how cigarettes were in the past, vaping products are not being labeled or advertised with the truth. The Food and Drug Administration state that it will be years before any regulations are put into effect on e-cigarettes. Making teen vaping that much more of a risk for developing teens. Let’s not repeat history, and stop teen vaping from becoming a detrimental decline of youth’s health later in life.
blueFire Wilderness can help
blueFire is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 11 to 17. Our students often grapple with anxiety, depression, and other emotional or behavioral problems. At blueFire, we strive to help each client succeed.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today!

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