Vaping was first introduced in the US sometime between 2006 and 2007. Marketed as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, millions of people jumped on the bandwagon and turned to vaping in an attempt to quit smoking. The vaping craze didn’t immediately attract teens, but companies like Juul and other brands began marketing to teens on social media, at concerts, and by introducing flavors like mango, that were created to appeal to a younger audience.
Originally customers were told that vaping was made of water-based liquid nicotine that could quell the craving for cigarettes. What vape companies didn’t tell the public, is that the dose of nicotine delivered into the system with a vape can be much higher than with an actual cigarette.
Some vaping devices have controls that allow the user to decide whether they want a high or low dose of nicotine. Nicotine is a poison and a large dose can cause dizziness, abnormal heart rate, headache, increased heart rate, dehydration and more Because the vaping industry is unregulated, it’s impossible to know how much nicotine a person is exposed to when vaping – this makes adverse reactions and overdose more likely.
Nicotine is a highly-addictive substance and one Juul vape contains the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes. But, if a teen uses more than one Juul cartrigde a day, the addiction to nicotine can become incredibly strong. So strong that despite the recent warnings that vaping is unsafe and potentially deadly, many people have a hard time stopping once they’ve started.
To date vaping has claimed 27 lives and 1,299 vape-related illnesses have been reported in the US since June, 2019. The Food and Drug Administration launched a criminal investigation into vape-related illnesses in September.
Remember, vaping is prevalent among teens, so the number of unreported cases of vape-related injuries may be much larger than the number of reported cases.
Further, in many of the cases, CBD oil and nicotine have been vaped simultaneously. While some patients have gotten sick using only nicotine vapes, a larger number of patients have fallen ill when combining CBD oil and nicotine. The cause of the illness is unknown and the CDC is working tirelessly to pinpoint the probem.
It appears that vape-related illnesses are the result of popcorn lung. Popcorn lung is an irreversible condition in which the sacs in the lungs become scarred and constricts breathing. It is a dangerous condition that can lead to death. Until the root cause of the illness is known, the Centers for Disease Control advises anyone under the age of 21 against vaping. Further, it suggests educating teens about the dangers of vaping.
Since this is a public health crisis, many States have made it illegal to sell vape products that are flavored or have made vaping illegal altogether. Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and Maine have instituted statewide vaping bans. If you’re curious if your state has banned vaping, here’s a complete list.
It’s critical that we explain the dangers of vaping to teens. Schools should provide education and the CDC has provided online information to help educate teens.
Breakthrough Recovery Outreach is participating in a public outreach to help prevent teen vaping We’ll be going to a nearby school to teach kids about the dangers and help them prevent becoming addicted to nicotine in the first place.
If you or a loved one needs help with addiction, please contact us at (770) 493-7750.