Hit the Vape Because It's Safe

Why Vaping Is Healthy

Shelby Russell

Opposing Opinions

Photo: HighTimes

Vaping Becomes an Epidemic

Why Vaping Is Bad For Teens

Martin Werner

April 5th, 2018


Vapes, also known as e-cigarettes and vape pens, are one of the greatest teen trends these days. High schools and middle schools everywhere in America have students that own vapes. When walking out in public, teens with vapes are everywhere.

 

There is a lot of controversy over whether vaping is healthy or not. No one can know until we start at the core of a vape, the vape juice ingredients. Many people have been taught in health class or been told by many outside sources that vape juice contains awful ingredients that are even worse than the ingredients in an actual cigarette, such as antifreeze. Even one’s own parent could have told them this, but this claim is false. However, it is recommended that when buying vape juice to check the ingredients inside so the one knows exactly what they are putting in their body. The ingredients in vape juice include: Propylene Glycerol (PG)/Vegetable Glycerin (GC), Non-Oil Food Grade Flavorings, and Nicotine. However, this may not be the case for every vape juice so make sure to check the ingredients.

 

Now what exactly is Vegetable Glycerin (VG)? Vegetable Glycerin is an ingredient that humans put in their body all the time, and it is harmless. It is produced from plant oils such as coconut oil and soy. VG has a clear appearance and it is odorless. VG is different from sugar because even though it has a sweet taste, it does not cause tooth decay. VG is also super hypoallergenic and it creates big, thick clouds. The FDA recognizes Vegetable Glycerin as safe.

 

Propylene Glycerol (PG) is another option for users to have besides Vegetable Glycerin. Propylene Glycerol is thinner than VG and it carries better flavor, but it produces small clouds. The FDA recognizes PG as safe, and it is a preservative found in everyday food items such as soup, salad dressing, sauces, and ice cream. Some people happen to be allergic to PG, so they choose to vape VG instead.

 

 We consume Non Oil Food Gradings everyday. Most flavors are healthy, but there are some to watch out for such as cinnamon. There was a lot of controversy over cinnamon and whether it is healthy or not. After a lot of debate and research, it is seen as healthy, but the user can choose whether they want to use it or not.

 

While all these ingredients are healthy and way better than the ingredients in an actual cigarette, there are some ingredients that may be in vape juice to avoid at all costs. Not all vape juices include these ingredients, but to be safe make sure to check the ingredients before buying the juice. These ingredients include Diacetyl, Acetyl Propionyl, and Acetoin. These ingredients can cause popcorn lung.

 

The last ingredient sometimes found in vape juice is Nicotine. Nicotine is found in tobacco and it is an addictive substance. One benefit of vape juice is that the user can choose how much nicotine they want, or if they want nicotine at all. A lot of vape juices have no nicotine so the user is only vaping VG/PG and Non Oil-Food Gradings, which is way healthier than smoking an actual cigarette.

Vaping is not the same as smoking, and in many respects, it is safer. Vaporizers were introduced as a healthier alternative for smokers, and as an alternative, they have been successful. But they have opened up a whole new and dangerous world for teenagers, and today, one in three 12th graders admit to having used a vape in the past year. Vaping is not as bad as smoking, but it still isn’t safe. Not only is vaping less harmless than has been thought, it can easily cause nicotine addictions and even lead to smoking—which defeats the purpose.

 

Even when optimized for safety, like leaving out nicotine, vaping is still not harmless. Vaping is relatively new (the first e-cig entered the U.S. in 2007) and the science just isn’t there, so we really can’t say how harmful the practice is—but we know that it isn’t 100% safe. And despite this fact, it has become a massive trend among teenagers. The technology is valuable in helping smokers quit, but it needs to be researched far more than it has been before it becomes as accessible as it already is to teenagers.

 

Vaping has not been researched enough. We do not know the extent of its negative effects. But we do know it has negative effects. The results of a toxicological study on vaping in October of 2016 showed that the vapors inhaled inflame mouth cells in a way that could cause gum disease. The researchers also found that these vapors can inhibit lung cells’ ability to repair damage. It has also been shown that vaping can mess with the immune system’s strength. Studies have also shown a link between teen vaping and chronic bronchitis—something commonly referred to as “smoker’s cough,” a cough that doesn’t go away due to repeated inhalation of harmful particles.

 

Let’s say that these dangers didn’t exist with the ideal form of vaping, that vaping with the right juice and the right vape was 100% safe and we knew it. Great, right? Not so much. Teenagers, trying to hide their vaping, have to sneak around and do not always have access to the safest materials. So even if vaping could be safe, it wouldn’t be for teens.

 

A huge argument for vapers is that while we don’t know how safe it is, we know it’s safer than smoking. While we don’t even know this for sure, let’s assume it’s true, that vaping is safer than smoking. But before vaping became popular, one in three 12th graders would not admit to having smoked in the past year. Vaping is exposing a much, much larger population to a practice that is in no way beneficial to them.

 

Vaping also drains pockets. Nicotine is addictive, and teens need to keep filling up with juice. Teenagers need to learn at an early age how to manage money, and a lot of teens with jobs spend a big portion of their paycheck on vape juice or pods. This does the opposite of teaching financial responsibility, and is really a waste of their money that could be spent on many more valuable things.

 

Vaping is not smoking. Vaping won’t kill you. Vaping is not the worst thing a teen could be doing—but they’re doing it, and it’s not good for them. Vaping is not smoking, but slowly, it is becoming an epidemic.