The Trend on Teen Vaping and Addiction
Although cigarette smoking rates have hit an all-time low, teen vaping and addiction has spiked in numbers from previous years. Filter's article, The Teen Vaping Trends We're Not Talking About, states that although research shows vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, it does not mean vaping comes without damaging risks. A majority of teens acknowledge vaping is not good for your health, but there is still a large percentage of users who are unaware. Of the two categories, no matter which one you may fall in, it’s important to continue reading in order to learn more about the health risks that come with vaping.
What is vaping and why is it so popular?
What is vaping? Partnership for Drug-Free Kids explains vaping is the process of inhaling the vapor that is produced from an electronic cigarette. Vapes were originally created to be a less harmful option for adults who currently smoke cigarettes. But even so, companies started developing tempting flavors of e-juice and captivating vape designs. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids goes on further to say that social media has also had a large part in the spike of vaping, as it made “cloud competitions” and other smoke tricks trend. And let's be honest, an activity that's trending is sure to catch the attention of any teen.
Teen vaping trends
News in Health shared a study from 2018 where more than 44,000 students participated in an annual survey that asked specifically about nicotine vaping. The results showed an alarming increase in teen vaping, from 28% to 37% in just one year. News in Health also warns being exposed to nicotine at such an early age could impose future struggles with addiction as well as the possibility of causing long-term harm to brain development.
Vaping companies, Juul for example, have been accused of purposefully targeting young children and teens by advertising it as the “cool” thing to do. With 81% of Juul's Twitter followers being 13-20 years old, you could say this company (among many others) relies heavily on underage users. The Guardian, in their article, How Juul gets kids addicted to vaping even goes as far as to say the increase in teen vaping has become a terrible epidemic.
How teen vaping and addiction affects its users
TeenHealth explains in, Vaping: What You Need to Know, that there are significant risks that need to be considered when choosing to vape. Because most e-juice contains nicotine, it can become a highly addictive activity and could even lead to other forms of tobacco use, cigarettes, for example. TeenHealth also mentions that nicotine has been proven to, “slow brain development in teens and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood.”
Vaping can also have an impact on someone's physical health, such as irritation and damage to the lungs. In some cases, vaping can even lead to death. If those two factors weren't scary enough, vaping (even if it's not an everyday thing) could possibly lead an individual to try other drugs, in order to get a “better high.” An addicted mind will convince you it needs these toxins to feel good. Unless you are equipped with the right tools or support system, it will be extremely difficult to fight this urge by yourself.
How can I get help for myself or someone I know?
TeenHealth lists some wonderful tips that may help you defeat this habit for good!
- Write down why you want to quit. When you feel the urge to vape, look at your reason to remind yourself why you want to quit in the first place.
- Pick a specific day to quit and let your supportive friends and family know.
- Get rid of all of your vaping supplies
- Download tools that will offer encouragement
- Be prepared for withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, feeling tired, cranky, or depressed, trouble concentrating or sleeping, hunger, and restlessness
Vaping has affected teens worldwide, including in Orange County. The New York Times reveals that in this area, the number of teens that vape, has been steadily increasing each year. It has increased from 4.7% in 2011,10% in 2012, 11.7% in 2016, 20.7% in 2017, to currently, 25%. Teen vaping has increased 5x the amount in just 8-9 years. So if you or someone you know is struggling with a vaping addiction, just know you are not alone.
At Clear Life Recovery, located here in Costa Mesa, we are ready to help those in need. We are committed to sharing valuable information about addiction and recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addictive behaviors, reach out for help today.